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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, SBS, JP
Chairman
Employees Retraining Board

The rising trade protectionist sentiment, lingering tensions in the external environment, coupled with downside risks of the global economy, may raise the spectre of impacts on our economy and employment market.  In the face of these uncertainties, the Employees Retraining Board (ERB) must closely monitor and soundly assess the changing environment, be dynamic and efficient, and provide appropriate services timely. 

In 2019-20, ERB will continue its policy objective of “Promoting Training and Facilitating Employment” to promote sustainable development of Hong Kong human capital and assist in unleashing the potentials of local workforce.  We adopt a horizontal cum vertical framework and modus operandi under the “T Strategy” to expand the width and optimise the depth of our services.  Three key initiatives are identified: 

(1) Strengthening the training and employment support for mature persons

Ageing population is a global issue.  Ageing is a natural phase of life, but old age is not necessarily a social burden.  Credits to mindset change and accumulated experience, mature persons are treasures waiting to be uncovered.  In the workplace, mature employees possess outstanding qualities such as loyalty, reliability, meticulousness, patience and good communication skills, making them the workforce not-to-be missed.  With appropriate nurturing and development, mature persons can become valuable asset of the society.

In view of huge potentials of mature persons, ERB will initiate in 2019-20 a series of innovative programmes to support them in training and employment.  To kick off, a “Post-50 Branding Campaign” will be launched.  “Post-50” is to be established as the new title of the mature group.  Through multimedia publicity and large-scale promotional activities, we will showcase the outstanding qualities of the “Post-50”, advocating public recognition to the value of the “Post-50”, and enhancing employers’ confidence in engaging the “Post-50” in the workplace.  Likewise, we will step up the promotion of continuous upgrading among the “Post-50”, encourage them to enrol in training courses and re-enter the employment market, thereby starting an amazing second half of life.

Next to come will be the “Post-50 Love Upgrading Scheme”  spanning from June to August 2019.  Special administrative measures including lifting the restriction in re-taking ERB courses, and exercising greater discretion in handling applications from people with higher education attainment, will be formulated with a view to encouraging more “Post-50” to enrol in our non-placement-tied courses free of charge.  In August 2019, ERB will pioneer its “Post-50 Internship Programme” to place the retired “Post-50” who have the aspiration and capability to work in short term internship with a view to strengthening their skillset and mindset for work.

In addition, we will further expand the “First-Hire-Then-Train” Programme, “Modular Certificates Accumulation Scheme” and “Tailor-made Training Course for Part-timers” to cover more industries, hence opening up more training and employment options for the “Post-50”.  The “Smart Starter” will also endeavour to refer part-time job vacancies to the “Post-50” and organise workshops to enhance their understanding of different industries and job types. 

(2) Commencing another new application for the “Programme Area Accreditation” Status

In April 2018, ERB was granted the “Programme Area Accreditation” (PAA) status at QF level three under the sub-area of “Catering, Food and Beverage Services”, signifying a major breakthrough of ERB in the front of quality assurance.  We have completed the review of the first application with invaluable experience concluded.  In 2019-20, we will keep up the momentum and start the preliminary work for submitting a new round of application.  We will work persistently towards the goal in obtaining more PAA status so as to heighten public recognition of the ERB training courses as well as to enhance the employment opportunities and packages of our trainees. 

(3) Expanding the coverage of “Credit Accumulation and Transfer” Arrangement 

To ride on the opportunity of the Education Bureau in promoting its newly introduced “Credit Accumulation and Transfer” (CAT) arrangement, ERB plans in 2019-20 to expand the coverage of CAT in collaboration with other education institutes, and actively explore the feasibility of having more ERB courses transferrable to higher-level courses offered by other education institutes, thereby reducing the need of trainees for duplicated learning and the time and money involved, as well as enabling them to seamlessly integrate and move up in the learning pathway. 

While implementing the key initiatives, we will keep abreast of the development of manpower market and information technology, continue to develop new courses, and support practitioners of different industries to pursue continuous learning through flexible training modes.  In 2019-20, we will launch the first phase of the “Smart Living” mobile apps, a new service model also open for the use of employers and helpers of the “Smart Baby Care” to uplift service efficiency.

We will step up promotion in both territory-wide and district levels to acquaint more people with ERB.  In 2019-20, “My ERB” Facebook Fan Page will connect the public in a fresh new look; 15 “ERB Service Spots” will be set up in Kowloon East, forming a strong district network of 37 “ERB Service Spots”; a brand new ERB Training Net course search terminal (ERB Training Net) will be installed at around 80 locations, including the Labour Department Job Centres, Social Welfare Department (SWD) Social Security Field Units and non-governmental organisations commissioned by SWD to provide employment services.  Together with the ERB Training Net at all “ERB Service Spots”, a total of some 120 ERB Training Net over the territory will be in place for the public to obtain course information of ERB at their fingertips.

My journey with ERB started in 2009-10 when I was appointed member of the Board, and the Vice-Chairman in 2013-14.  On 1 April 2019, I was appointed the Chairman of ERB.  I am deeply honoured by the appointment.  This is an important and huge responsibility as well.  In the past decade, with the support of the Government, leadership of past Chairmen, commitment of board members, participation of employers and collective efforts of ERB colleagues, trade unions and training bodies, ERB has achieved significant breakthroughs and development, and established a positive image in the mind of the general public.  I feel truly privileged to be part of ERB.

Serving the retail industry and operating department stores for over 30 years, “Growing with times, Keeping pace with society and Serving customers with heart” has always been my work motto.  There is a saying, “Different hats for different heads”.  Customers have different needs and their needs are ever changing.  Therefore, always make customer needs the top priority and keep improving is the golden rule for business success.  In a similar vein, ERB has always been “people oriented”.  On top of this, I would add the innovative vision of “Dare to be First” for greater breakthroughs.

Build on the past achievements and plan for the future.  In the days ahead, I will stand on the frontline with utmost modesty, listen to the needs of the public, work closely with our stakeholders, and keep pace with the times, in the hope that everyone with training and employment needs will appreciate the ERB courses and services, and forge ahead to lead a rewarding career and gratifying life.