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Chairman's Message

The photo of Dr. William LEUNG Wing-cheung, SBS, JP, Chairman of the Employees Retraining Board

Dr. William LEUNG Wing-cheung, SBS, JP
Employees Retraining Board

2017 marks the 25th anniversary of the Employees Retraining Board (ERB).  Over the past 25 years, Hong Kong witnessed a multiple of changes and economic turbulences.  The ERB has all along been standing shoulder to shoulder with Hong Kong people in overcoming the various challenges and difficulties. Since its establishment in 1992, the ERB has provided altogether some 2.3 million training places. The service targets of the ERB amount to 2.5 million Hong Kong people at present. 

“Training and employment” is our work as well as our mission.  In 2016-17, we continued to assist the unemployed and the job-seeking public to acquire vocational skills to dovetail with the requirements of the employment market.  We also actively encouraged serving employees to pursue continuous learning with a view to making breakthroughs in their careers.  A record high of some 123,000 trainees enroled in our training courses in the year.  This demonstrated vividly the strong demand of the public for training and upgrading, and the ability of our courses and services to address the changing needs of the employment market.
Under the policy objective of “Training for empowerment, employment for self-actualisation”, we shall strive to support social groups with special needs by the development of more dedicated courses and services in 2017-18.  Our aims are to assist them to enter the employment market and achieve upward social mobility, and at the same time provide additional manpower supply for different industries.

To commemorate our 25th anniversary in 2017, a series of corporate communications and promotional activities will be organised to enhance public awareness of our variety of courses and services, and strengthen our partnership relations with different stakeholders.  We shall introduce the “We Love Upgrading Scheme” to motivate eligible citizens to enrol in and experience our half-day or evening courses free of any charge.  We shall organise a series of “ERB Trainee Service Days” whereby trainees will offer massage and hair-cut services to social groups with special needs, demonstrating the vocational skills they earn from the courses on the one hand while contributing to helping the less-privileged on the other.  We shall invite celebrities from different sectors to participate in our “VIP Trainee and Employee” Reality Show.  They will learn a set of vocational skills, work in a real environment, and showcase to the public the benefits of learning and working.

An ERB25 logo has been launched to commemorate the special occasion.  The logo is built on the concept of “infinity” and comes with vibrant colours.  It symbolises the commitment of the ERB in offering diversified training courses and services over the past 25 years with the objective of unleashing the potentials of the public.  An ERB25 Website has been put in place to disseminate information on the various commemorative activities to facilitate the reference and participation of the public.  We shall also publish an ERB25 Electronic Supplement to set out the developmental milestones of the ERB in our information channels and various social media platforms.

In 2017-18, we shall continue to develop course series to assist people to improve their vocational skills both in terms of width and depth, thereby enhancing their competitiveness.  We shall also actively extend the coverage of the “Modular Certificates Accumulation Scheme”, and explore the feasibility of extending the “First-Hire-Then-Train” arrangements to other industries with a view to helping more women and homemakers to pursue training and land on jobs.

To assist appointed training bodies to develop a management culture conducive to quality assurance and its continuous improvement, we shall set up a task force to work in conjunction with the management of training bodies to identify areas for improvement.  We shall also undertake a comprehensive review of the operations of the Practical Skills Training and Assessment Centre in order to determine its strategic directions in response to the changes of the employment market.

In collaboration with employers and tailor-made for social groups with special needs, we shall organise a “Work Experience Activity Series” which comprises work experience activities and a summer internship programme to assist upper secondary students in life planning; a “Workplace Re-entry Activity Series” to prepare mature persons to re-enter the employment market; and “Work Experience Days” for homemakers, mature persons and new arrivals to provide them with the latest job market information.

We shall adopt an industry-based strategy and identify key industries for concerted efforts in the promotion of training courses, organisation of promotional activities, and collaboration with industries.  Our information channels, newsletters and promotional materials will gear towards these industries.  In parallel, we shall continue to foster our “Online Recruitment Service”, “ERB Services for SMEs” and “Enterprise-based Training Scheme” to respond to the needs of the industries in recruitment and training.

The ERB has embarked on its journey to “Training and Employment” for a quarter-century.  We understand that nurturing of quality manpower is a long-term and massive social project.  We shall continue to strive for continuous improvement and service excellence on different fronts, and look forward to making better contributions in the world of training and employment.