The Training and Support Scheme aims to attract and retain talent for specific industries with a keen demand for labour through integrating structured apprenticeship training programmes with clear career progression pathway.
The Scheme covers industries meeting the following criteria –
(a) the industry is facing labour shortage and/or ageing problems, and it has difficulties in hiring and retaining young people;
(b) the relevant trades covered under the industry are very specialised and with a high level of technology contents; and
(c) the industry is committed to provide allowance or subsidy to trainees and to offer a certain salary level to trainees who have completed the apprenticeship training and are willing to join relevant industries.
The Pilot Scheme has been implemented through the Vocational Training Council (VTC) since the 2014/15 academic year. The Government works with the participating industries to encourage more trainees to join industries which require specialised skills under the “Earn and Learn” model. The scheme has been regularised since the 2019/20 academic year with an increased number of training places to 1 200 per year and an increased average monthly subsidy of $2,500 per month for each trainee. to implement workplace assessment on a pilot basis for three years from the sane academic year for three years to improve the scheme.
Thus far, the Government has introduced several improvement measures to enhance the Scheme. In order to evaluate trainees’ abilities and performance in the workplace more effectively, the Government has introduced a three-year Pilot Incentive Scheme to Employers starting from the 2019/20 academic year. With a subsidy of up to $36,000 per trainee, it encourages employers to participate in workplace assessment for trainees. This will facilitate the adjustment of the content of training courses more effectively and improve trainees’ work performance.
On the other hand, to further enhance the VPET learning experience, for three years starting from the 2020/21 academic year, the Government will provide a non-recurrent funding of about $20 million in total to support trainees under the Training and Support Scheme to take part in study and exchange programmes outside Hong Kong, attend short-term skills and practical courses as well as visit institutions/enterprises in those places, allowing them to understand the development of relevant industries and the learning experience of VPET students in other places, thereby facilitating skills exchange and broadening their exposure.
For details, please refer to the relevant website: http://www.vtc.edu.hk/earnlearn/html/en/.
(The Training and Support Scheme is known as “Earn and Learn Scheme” on the VTC’s website.)