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FAQs

General Questions
1.Is Employees Retraining Board a government department?No. ERB is a statutory body established in 1992 under the Employees Retraining Ordinance.
2.What is the funding source of ERB?The Operation of ERB is funded by the Employees Retraining Fund (ERF). To provide ERB with long-term funding support, the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council approved the injection of a sum of $15 billion into the ERF on 24 January 2014 to provide stable and sustainable financial support to allow ERB to plan on a long-term horizon. In June 2020, the SAR Government injected HK$2.5 billion into the Employees Retraining Fund to meet the anticipated financial commitment arising from the increase in the maximum amount of monthly allowance and the launch of the Love Upgrading Special Scheme since 2019-20.
3.Who are the service targets of ERB?The service targets of ERB are those eligible employees aged 15 or above with educational attainment at sub-degree level or below. Being an “eligible employee” means the person has the right to stay in Hong Kong legally and can be employed by any employer without restrictions. They include permanent residents of Hong Kong and the new arrivals.
4.Is there any priority accorded to any particular service targets in the handling of course applications?Applications from people with disabilities, single parents or Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients will be accorded priority, given that sufficient documentary proof has been provided.
5.Is it free of charge for attending ERB training courses?Placement-tied training courses targeted at the unemployed are provided free of charge by ERB. Depending on their income level, people attending non-placement-tied courses, including generic skills courses and skills upgrading courses, can apply for course fee waiver or subsidies. For details, please refer to the Application Guidelines in the Course Prospectus.
6.What are the eligibility criteria for retraining allowance?Trainees attending a placement-tied course with a duration of seven days or more, and who has attained an attendance rate of at least 80%, may submit their applications for retraining allowance through the training bodies concerned. For any trainees, the number of disbursement for retraining allowance is limited to two per year and not more than four within a period of three years.
7.If an application for retraining allowance is approved, when will the allowance be disbursed?Normally four to six weeks upon the completion of the concerned course.
8.How to apply for course fee waiver or subsidies for attending non-placement-tied courses?Upon receiving notification of course enrolment, trainees should submit applications for course fee waiver or subsidies to the concerned training bodies before class commencement. Trainees are required to retain the relevant income proof for income surveillance by ERB in future. For details, please refer to the Application Guidelines in the Course Prospectus.
9.Is enrolment considered successful upon submission of completed course application form together with required supporting documents?As per entry requirements of individual courses, applicants may be required to attend interviews and / or entry tests. Upon passing the assessments concerned, training bodies will issue admission notices to successful applicants, and notify them of details of course commencement once sufficient number of trainees are available.
10.What should be done if circumstances do not allow an applicant to attend the course after confirmation of course enrolment? The applicant should apply for cancellation of course enrolment in person or in writing to the concerned training body, no less than three working days prior to the course commencement date. Late cancellation will not be accepted.
11.What should be done if an applicant is unable to attend class or to attain 80% attendance on grounds of special circumstances?In the event that a trainee is unable to attend a course or attain 80% attendance (Note: Except for special programmes) on grounds of illness, accident or other special circumstances, trainee may submit application to ERB through the concerned training body, together with supporting documents e.g. medical certificates issued by a registered medical practitioner, for waiver of penalty for low attendance.
12.What kinds of training and employment support services does ERB provide? Are they free of charge?Currently, the training and employment support services provided by ERB include “ERB Service Centre”, “ERB Service Spots”, “Smart Living Scheme” and “Smart Baby Care Scheme”. These services are offered free of charge.

As the district-based windows to the courses and services of ERB, the “ERB Service Centre” and “ERB Service Spots” offer self-help, support and personalised services, including enquiry and enrolment services for ERB courses and training consultancy service, etc., for promoting ERB courses and services at district level.

“Smart Living Scheme” and “Smart Baby Care Scheme” administered by ERB are one-stop referral platforms for domestic, care, massage, post-natal care as well as infant and child care services, with a view to assisting graduate trainees of related courses to establish household employer network and enhance employment opportunities.
13.What services does the Practical Skills Training and Assessment Centre provide?Established in October 2002 by ERB, the Practical Skills Training and Assessment Centre (PSTAC) is a centralised practical assessment centre which aims to ensure the quality of training courses through a fair, just and transparent mechanism of standardised practical assessments, so as to enhance the public recognition of the trainees' skills as well as their employment opportunities. The PSTAC is now administering practical assessments for 17 courses. Graduates from the Certificate in Domestic Helper course who have passed the standardised practical assessments will be issued a “Competency Card” together with a graduation certificate. For candidates who have passed the assessments of other courses, graduation certificates will be issued.
14.How can I give my opinions on ERB training services?Information on ERB’s training courses are listed in the Course Prospectus published in April each year. Members of the public may also refer to ERB website www.erb.org or call the ERB Hotline (852) 182 182.

Members of the public can also visit the “My ERB” Facebook Fan Page and ERB YouTube channel, or subscribe the “LOOK@erb” newsletter to obtain information of ERB.
15.Where can I obtain course information?Information on ERB’s training courses are listed in the Course Prospectus published in April each year. Members of the public may also refer to ERB website www.erb.org or call the ERB Hotline (852) 182 182.

Members of the public can also visit the “My ERB” Facebook Fan Page and ERB YouTube channel, or subscribe the “LOOK@erb” newsletter to obtain information of ERB.
Training Courses
1.What are placement-tied courses?Placement-tied courses on vocational skills training are generally offered in full-time mode. Courses straddling different industry categories and aiming at equipping trainees with skills required by the market are dedicated for the unemployed. Trainees upon completion of placement-tied courses are provided with a three to six month placement follow-up services by training bodies to help them re-enter the job market. The courses also include training on personal attributes and job search skills, which aim to enable trainees to strengthen soft skills and secure employment.
2.What are generic skills courses?Transferable skills applicable in different industries including foundation skills (English, Putonghua, and IT Applications) and personal attributes are offered in non-placement-tied generic skills courses. To assist trainees enhance their qualifications and competitiveness, preparatory courses for internationally recognised language proficiency test are also offered under this course category.
3.What are skills upgrading courses?Skills upgrading courses are non-placement-tied courses offered in half-day or evening mode. These courses aim at enhancing the vocational skills competency of serving employees, encouraging employees to pursue training for upgrading and skills enhancement, and attaining multi-dimensional skills. As employee may seek job changes or aim to broaden their employment opportunities through training, some courses are open to applicants from other industries. Modular courses aiming at enhancing basic knowledge of the industries are offered to people who plan to change their fields of work with a view to facilitate their job mobility.
4.What are courses for special service targets?ERB provides dedicated training and employment services to assist the special service targets, including new arrivals, persons with disabilities and persons recovered from work injuries, ethnic minorities, rehabilitated ex-drug abusers or ex-offenders, to integrate into the society and achieve self-reliance. Dedicated courses for the special target groups cover training in vocational skills, generic skills and career planning, etc.
5.What are youth training courses?Courses are offered under the banner of “Youth Training Programme” and other featured courses, rendering training and placement follow-up services to young people.

The “Youth Training Programme” targets at non-engaged youth aged between 15 and 24, with educational attainment at secondary education level or below. The programme aims to rekindle their desire to learn and further study, and motivate them to actively plan for their future.

In addition, ERB offers part-time skills upgrading courses, building up a progression pathway for the youth.
6.If I have to take care of family but also want to pursue study and engage in employment, any other training programmes are suitable for me?“First-Hire-Then-Train” Scheme aims to encourage the latent workforce to enter the employment market and assist in alleviating manpower shortage in the employment market. Target participants are mainly middle-aged women and homemakers. Participating employers will provide job vacancies and suitably modify the working hours and leave arrangements to cater for the family commitments of trainees. The employers will also provide on-the-job training and other related support measures to encourage trainees to stay in employment. Appointed training bodies of ERB will assist in the recruitment of trainees and provide designated training courses for the hired trainees during working hours so that the trainees will be able to master relevant skills required in their daily duties.

Modular Certificates Accumulation Scheme (the “Scheme”) encourages members of the public (including females and homemakers) who are not able to take training courses of ERB offering in full-time mode owing to their family roles to make flexible study arrangement and acquire recognised qualifications. Under the “Scheme”, trainees may apply for a certificate bearing a qualification equivalent to a designated full-time course upon successful completion of a number of specified half-day or evening courses. Courses currently covered under the “Scheme” include “Foundation Certificate in Post-natal Care Worker Training” course, “Foundation Certificate in Care Worker Training” course, “Foundation Certificate in Infant and Child Care Worker Training” course, “Foundation Certificate in Occupational Therapist Assistant Training” course and “Foundation Certificate in Physiotherapist Assistant Training” course.
Placement Follow-up Service
1.What are placement follow-up services?Appointed training bodies of ERB will offer trainees completing placement-tied courses a three to six month placement follow-up services. Placement officers of the training bodies provide vacancy information and refer suitable vacancies to trainees according to their experience, skills, aptitudes and job expectations.
2.Why are placement follow-up services only provided to trainees who have completed placement-tied courses?Since placement-tied courses are offered specifically for the unemployed, training bodies will provide trainees who have completed the courses with placement follow-up service. Half-day and evening courses, including the skills upgrading courses and generic skills courses, are not specifically designed for the unemployed, hence no placement follow-up service will be provided.
Services for Employers
1.How can job matching and referral services offered by ERB assist employers in recruitment?Appointed training bodies of ERB offer trainees completing placement-tied courses a three to six month placement follow-up services. Employers who are interested to recruit trainees of ERB can contact the placement officers of the training bodies direct for free referral services. Placement officers of training bodies will follow-up and refer suitable candidates who possess the required work experience and skills level to employers.
2.Is it free of charge for recruiting ERB trainees?The referral service provided by the appointed training bodies of ERB is completely free of charge.
3.Is it free of charge for employers to co-organise “tailor-made course” with ERB? What are the responsibilities involved?Employers or groups of employers that can offer 12 or more vacancies in a particular position which requires special skill sets not readily available from placement-tied courses of ERB can apply for the organisation of “tailor-made course” with ERB.

Through such tailor-made courses, ERB provides a free one-stop service on recruitment, pre-employment training and post-employment follow up with a view to helping employers resolve their recruitment difficulties while at the same time enhancing the vocational skills and employment opportunities of the job seekers.
4.How do the employers register to employ the ERB trainees?Employers who are interested to recruit trainees of ERB courses can complete the “Vacancy Registration Form” which can be downloaded from the ERB website, and return it by fax to ERB or the concerned Training Bodies. Employers can also contact us through the ERB Hotline (852) 182 182.
5.How can employers recruit ERB trainees other than job matching and referral services?Employers can register as users of the ERB website. After registration, employers can make use of the online recruitment service to upload job vacancies for browsing of registered trainees and training bodies, as well as to search for courses to be completed so as to expand recruitment channels. The service is free of charge.