Launch of Jockey Club Multiple Pathways Initiative
Nurturing New Collar Talents through non-conventional CLAP-TECH Pathway
New tripartite partnership model creates unique learning pathway preparing career readiness for students in fast changing technology world
Hong Kong – 25 May 2020 – Industries are now being reshaped by AI, data science, cloud computing, cybersecurity and other technological advancements. As the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector continues to grow, “new collar” positions that are equipped with flexible skills will be in high demand in coming years. Some of these jobs do not require formal degree qualification, yet, the candidates must have technical knowledge and attributes. Jockey Club Multiple Pathways Initiative officially launched the CLAP-TECH Pathway, supporting youths to prepare themselves for the ICT industry.
Funded by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, the Jockey Club Multiple Pathways Initiative is a tripartite collaboration among three parties – Hong Kong Baptist University, industry partners and secondary schools, connecting from school to work. Supporting industry partners include IBM, Microsoft, The Hong Kong and China Gas Company Limited (Towngas) and UBS. Students at CLAP-TECH Pathway will go through a non-conventional mode of learning at schools, which will equip them with practical skills and workplace experiences. Students enrolled in CLAP-TECH Pathway will earn their qualifications in five years: three years of senior secondary school and two years of a higher diploma program.
At the senior secondary level, students will be enrolled in an Applied Learning course called “Tech Basics,” developed by the School of Continuing Education of Hong Kong Baptist University and co-taught by secondary school teachers. Upon successful completion of the five-year program, students will be granted a Higher Diploma by Hong Kong Baptist University. Supported by the Education Bureau of the HKSAR Government, CLAP-TECH Pathway has been implemented in selected secondary schools through e-learning since February 2020. The first cohort includes 117 students from five secondary schools, namely Delia Memorial School (Hip Wo), Pak Kau College, HKRSS Tai Po Secondary School, Lok Sin Tong Yu Kan Hing Secondary School and STFA Yung Yau College.
The course content of CLAP-TECH Pathway is based on industry’s skill-mapping. With the contribution of industry partners, activities and workplace experiences such as mentorship, company visits, workshops and guest talks could arouse students’ interest and enrich their skills aligned with technology-related jobs. Participating students may even be given the interview opportunities of entry-level jobs by industry partners and kick-start their career right after the completion of the course.
CLAP-TECH Pathway is largely based upon a learning paradigm first initiated by IBM in 2011, known as P-TECH (Pathways in Technology Early College High School), that has already been launched in 24 countries and regions, including Australia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom and the United States. The program also draws heavily from CLAP for Youth @ JC, a 5-year program empowering Hong Kong youth to navigate their school-to-work journey through their career and life development (CLD) competence and an environment with supportive enablers and infrastructure. CLAP for Youth @ JC’s CLD perspective has been blended with P-TECH’s key success factors – CLAP-TECH Pathway, to provide a fulfilling learning journey filled with not just skills training but also self-understanding and goal-setting for youth’s long-term success.
“This is a powerful cross-sector partnership that ensures workplace readiness and develops in-demand credentials and skills that employers need now and in the future. We look forward to working with program partners to enrich the education system in Hong Kong by providing an alternative learning pathway,” said Prof. Roland Chin, President and Vice-Chancellor, Hong Kong Baptist University.
“Empowering Hong Kong’s youth with the competence and opportunities to explore the future is an important part of The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust’s youth development strategy. CLAP-TECH Pathway provides a unique journey, connecting students’ learning today with the skills and perspectives important for tomorrow. Young people are our future. This tripartite partnership offers a practical through-train programme for a rising generation who have a strong interest in technology to realise their potential. We believe this business-education collaboration benefits Hong Kong’s long-term human capital development,” said Ms Winnie Ying, Head of Charities (Grant Making) of The Hong Kong Jockey Club.
“At IBM we’re acutely aware of the widening skills gap across industries and CLAP-TECH Pathway is very much in line with the needs of Hong Kong employers, who have reflected that fresh graduates generally do not possess skills required for emerging technology-related jobs. We are excited to take an active role in helping young people develop the qualifications and skills to compete in the digital economy,” said Mr Francis Ngai, General Manager, IBM China/Hong Kong Limited.
“Technology is rapidly transforming industries, and Towngas is committed to nurturing our next generation of business leaders who can thrive in tomorrow’s workplace. We look forward to working with program partners to equip students with both the technical and business skills necessary to reach their full career potential,” said Ms Susanna Shen, General Manager – Corporate IT, Towngas.
“The pace of Digital Transformation has been accelerating in the past few years. Technology’s importance is becoming more pertinent these days as companies strive to sustain their business continuity digitally. According to our research, 79% of jobs in Hong Kong will be transformed in the near future, 60% of which will be redeployed to higher value roles, or reskilled to meet the need of the digital age. It is Microsoft’s mission to nurture the digital talents of tomorrow and inspire more students to pursue a career in STEM and we are thrilled to be part of the CLAP-TECH Pathway,” said Ms Cally Chan, General Manager of Microsoft Hong Kong and Macau.
According to the review report submitted by The Task Force on Promotion of Vocational and Professional Education and Training (VPET) to the Education Bureau in January 2020, VPET plays an integral role in the provision of multiple pathways for students to equip themselves with work skills for the future. Besides a curriculum with current and future skills mapping, CLAP-TECH Pathway also provides mentoring support on life planning and meaningful workplace experience, allowing students to follow a clearly defined VPET articulation pathway which is duly recognised by employers and post-secondary institutions. The Task Force suggested that the pilot project is not just an opportunity to test how well this VPET learning pathway is received by students, parents and teachers, but it also helps the participants have a better understanding of VPET. With the close collaboration among secondary schools, post-secondary institutions and industry partners, the VPET pathways that are linked to future skills and industry needs can be further expanded and enriched, thereby contributing to systematic talent development in Hong Kong.
For more information, please visit: www.claptech.hk
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Ms. Thera Lee
Phone: (852) 9876 9314