, Hong Kong

How vocational training shapes Hong Kong workforce

PwC Hong Kong said it has helped reduce youth unemployment rate to 10% in 2019.

The PwC Hong Kong found that vocational and professional education and training (PVET) plays an important role in helping the employability of the youth and in closing existing skills gap.

In its study, Vocational and Professional Education and Training – Shaping the Future of Work, PwC Hong Kong assessed PVET’s contribution to the workforce.

For one, the study found that VPET providers have significantly enhanced youth employability in the past 20 years. The unemployment rate amongst the younger workers, those aged 15-19, declined to 10% in 2019 from 31% in 2002.

Unemployment rate amongst those aged 20 and 29 also remained low at around 6%.

“The Study found out that employees with sub-degree qualifications earned some 30% higher than secondary school leavers, whereas holders of a bachelor’s degree or above qualification had an over 100% salary uplift compared to those with upper secondary qualifications,” PwC reported.

Moreover, the study found that VPET contributed in supporting the growth of 23 trades and industries in Hong Kong through the supply of skilled workforce.

This includes 8 core industries, such as information technology, engineering, construction, design and creative, business and marketing, tourism and hospitality, healthcare and sciences, education and community services industries.

VPET providers have trained over 900,000 graduates since the early 1980s, contributing nearly 24% of the total workforce in Hong Kong.

PwC Hong Kong Partner Simon Booker noted that there is still so much VPET can offer in Hong Kong.

On this note, PwC Hong Kong recommended that a comprehensive VPET system be put in place through a publicly funded University of Applied Sciences as well as enhancing VPET programmes to develop a strong talent pool for new emerging industries.

“VPET should collaborate with other cities in the GBA and Mainland China to build a diversified talent pool,” Booker also said.

“Also, it is crucial to enhance international and regional recognition of VPET in Hong Kong.”

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