Youth I.D.E.A.S. 01
Employment and Economic Development
The Opportunities of Vocational Training for Youth Employment
30 July, 2015
There is a strong demand for staffing in Hong Kong. According to a paper on Manpower Projection produced by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) government, the total labour supply in 2022 is projected to fall short of the total requirements by 120,000. Local surveys also show that there are severe labour shortages in professional and technical roles in specific industries such as construction and health care. The situation is unlikely to be resolved in the foreseeable future. On the other hand, many young people are finding that there are few types of work available for them to realise their potential after completing school. This is often because they have failed to take the opportunity during school to prepare for future employment by means such as selecting the right kind of training.
Young people in Hong Kong are usually not enthusiastic about vocational education. Most young people who have failed to get into university have received an academically oriented education and are not equipped with any professional qualifications or technical skills. Without either the educational credential of a degree or a specific professional or technical qualification, such young people face difficult employment prospects.
For the benefit of long-term economic development, it is necessary for Hong Kong to make more effort to implement human resources training to enable young people to start preparing early for future employment and realise their potential.
This study focuses on vocational education offering specific technical skills training to young people so as to help them to obtain professional qualifications. The target group is young people aged 14-25 (the right age to receive vocational education). By understanding the considerations behind their choice of education or training and their views on vocational education, this study explores whether there are measures which could open up opportunities for youth employment.
This study uses an online survey and focus groups to investigate the reasons why young people choose different types of education or training, their views on technical posts and their opinions on vocational education. In addition, experts and scholars are interviewed in order to understand their assessment of the development of vocational education as well as the staffing requirements in Hong Kong.
Based on the findings of this study, Youth I.D.E.A.S. has put forward five recommendations which focus on the incentives for organising vocational education programmes and the promotion of the Qualifications Framework (QF).