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Chairman's Message

The photo of Mr. YU Pang-chun, SBS, JP, Chairman of the Employees Retraining Board

Mr. YU Pang-chun, GBS, JP
Chairman
Employees Retraining Board

The Progression Roadmap

While 2020-21 has been a year of challenges, it has also marked an important milestone in the development of the Employees Retraining Board (ERB).

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll across the globe, and Hong Kong is no exception. The local economy shrank for the second consecutive year in 2020, the first time in recorded history. Many industries were hit hard, resulting in a weakening employment market and a surging unemployment rate to a 17-year high.

To tie in with the Government’s anti-pandemic measures, ERB suspended its courses in classroom training mode thrice in 2020-21. Facing the unexpected challenge, ERB stayed vigilant and responded swiftly. A whole array of programmes and measures were rolled out in an extremely short timeframe. They included advancing the pilot run of online learning arrangement, launching phases 2 and 3 of the Love Upgrading Special Scheme, increasing the maximum amount of retraining allowance, and introducing flexible administrative arrangements, etc., with a view to supporting trainees to continue learning during course suspension and serving more people in need. All the work done have laid a solid foundation and important direction for ERB to steer its development in the future.

The Progression Roadmap

A new mindset is required in the new normal. ERB adopts the “Progressive Roadmap” as the framework for formulating its new “Three-year Strategic Plan” for 2021-22 to 2023-24, and setting its work focuses and priorities according to four strategic directions. We are committed to promoting the development of training courses, enhancing the recognition of our courses and the quality of services, strengthening collaboration with different stakeholders, stepping up promotion to further leverage on our brand effect. Meanwhile, we will endeavor to work in tandem with the financial management principles of the Government by optimising our work procedures and services, and uplifting the effectiveness of resources through utilisation of information technology, thereby supporting the sustainable development of ERB.

Start Anew and Develop

Technology advancement, coupled with the lingering pandemic, have drastically changed the ways people live, work and connect, and brought about a brand new mode of learning. ERB expedites its pace to pilot the online learning arrangement from April 2020, receiving positive feedback from training bodies and trainees alike. Upon review of related experience, ERB has stipulated the development of online learning as one of the new directions for course development. A dedicated working group is set up and related works have been underway in full swing. While we continue to develop more courses with market potential, we will deploy our resources to focus on key areas and industries, develop more innovation and technology courses, strengthen our support to the training needs of healthcare industry, and accord young people and “Post-50” as our key service targets.

Succeed and Expand

In recent years, ERB has launched the “Love Upgrading Scheme” series for different service targets. To cope with the highly challenging internal and external economic environment since the second half of 2019, the Government entrusted ERB to launch three phases of the “Love Upgrading Special Scheme” which received overwhelming response from the public, accumulating over 140,000 applications by the end of 2020-21. We are going to launch phase 4 of the “Love Upgrading Special Scheme” in July 2021, which will last for six months and cater for 20,000 trainees. More training options and online courses will be provided under the scheme. Besides, we will step up our efforts in the “Programme Area Accreditation” and course accreditation to promote the recognition of our courses; further develop the “First-Hire-Then-Train” Scheme and courses for ethnic minorities, organise industry thematic workshops; keep on optimising our district services and promotion to raise public awareness of ERB courses and services, and strengthen internal staff training and development.

Transform and Optimise

ERB chooses to steer changes under the ever-changing and diversely complex environment. We will actively tap into information technology to further digitise our services and procedures, including launching a mobile application for household employers, a new website for course search and more electronic services. We will also review our services and administrative procedures timely, with a view to enhancing operational efficiency and effectiveness so as to keep pace with the times.

Collaborate and Innovate

Having an extensive network of training bodies and stakeholders is one unique competitive edge of ERB, enabling us to keep track with market updates and pulse, and respond proactively. We will continue to adopt the “win-win collaboration” work principle, strengthen our training network by bringing in training bodies of different backgrounds; step up collaboration with industries, and utilise our employer networks to develop key services; optimise the district-based window function of “ERB Service Spots” and “ERB Training Net”, reinforce the collaboration with training bodies on the promotion front, and make fuller use of digital media in publicity and carry on our media outreach, for promoting the positive messages delivered along with our services.

Embrace Hope for a Better Tomorrow

Serving the public is the unchanging mission of ERB. The public has greater demand and expectation to our service during difficult times. We will take on challenges brought by the changes, unleash our creative thinking, humbly listen to comments, and work together with our stakeholders to sail through hard times, with a view to supporting members of the public to upgrade for empowerment and seize every opportunity ahead.

“The sky might be full of dark clouds, but above them there always is sunshine”. As long as we embrace hope in our hearts and stand shoulder to shoulder, we will surely ride out the storm and head towards a better tomorrow.