Skip to main content
Decoration Image

Home > Messages > Chairman's Message

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

 

Mastering the changes  Embracing the future 

Hong Kong has navigated a year of turbulence in 2019-20.

The unsettling macro environment, coupled with the local social incidents and outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease, hard hit every sector and industry as never before.  The overall economy and employment market of Hong Kong are facing heavy downward pressure and anxiety is lingering in the society. 

The establishment of ERB was basically to overcome the challenges of the times.  Today, we are facing another epoch-making challenge, and must be forward looking and strategic-minded to display more important role and mission.

In 2020-21, we will adopt the policy objective of “Promoting Training and Facilitating Employment” and implement our work along three strategic directions.

First: Increasing Allowance  Enhancing Training

ERB is encountering an unprecedented challenge under the epidemic.  To safeguard the health of the general public, ERB suspended its courses at the end of January 2020 for more than three months, until early May 2020 when classroom training was resumed in phases and orderly manner.  Meanwhile, ERB introduced an array of discretionary measures with a view to allowing members of the public to engage in training upon class resumption with greater flexibility.  We also promptly extended the application deadline of the “Love Upgrading Special Scheme” to 30 June 2020, facilitating more people in need to attend free training and receive training allowance in tough times.

Meanwhile, the Government has disbursed a special grant from the Anti-epidemic Fund to our training bodies in March 2020, and earmarked $2.5 billion in the 2020-21 Budget for ERB to optimise the new tranche of the Special Scheme to be launched in July 2020.  It is gratifying and encouraging to witness the support and recognition of the Government to ERB.

ERB well understands the significance of training allowance to the unemployed trainees under adverse economic situation.  ERB has proposed legislative amendment to the “Employees Retraining Ordinance” to revise the statutory cap of monthly training allowance payable to each eligible trainee from $4,000 to $5,800.  The amendment paper has been submitted to the Legislative Council and we target to have the new rate effective in mid 2020.  We believe that this new measure could motivate those affected by economic downturn to enroll in ERB training courses for acquisition of new job skills and re-entering the employment market as soon as possible.  

Second: Technology for Competitive Edges

During the class suspension period, we have actively studied different options that can assist trainees to continue learning outside the classroom, and the online learning mode is introduced in selective courses in April 2020 on a pilot basis.  We will closely monitor the progress and effectiveness with a view to examining the feasibility of introducing online learning mode in more courses and increasing the learning flexibility of trainees. 

To dovetail with the government’s policy of actively promoting the development of innovation and technology in Hong Kong, more relevant courses pitched at “Qualifications Framework” level three and level four, and professional certification courses and course series are under planning to nurture more ICT professionals.

Third: From Qualifications to Professionals

In 2020-21, we will inaugurate the application for the “Programme Area Accreditation” status under the ICT discipline, review the feasibility of expanding the coverage of “Credit Accumulation and Transfer” arrangement, and actively invite more organisations to join us as our appointed training bodies to strengthen our training network.

Against the backdrop of adversity, ERB will do our utmost and by joining hands with all stakeholders, back up the local workforce in upgrading skills and withstanding headwinds.

“Let’s stay faithful, composed and prepared. Together we will build a better future.”  A note to share with all Hong Kong people.