HONG KONG — The 27th HKTDC Education & Careers Expo opened to the public free of charge today at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The four-day event continues through 26 February and gathers more than 860 organisations from 22 countries and regions, including educational institutions, consulting firms, government departments as well as private enterprises to showcase a wealth of information on further studies, continuous education and job opportunities.

Eddie Ng, Secretary for Education, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government, officiated the opening ceremony this morning.

He said the annual expo has established itself as a premier event providing the public with comprehensive and updated information on further studies, training and career openings.

He added that the event also echoes government policy of providing diversified and flexible pathways for students.

Speaking one day after the government unveiled its 2017/18 Budget, Mr Ng said, “Government investment in education ranks the highest among all policy areas; for every five dollars we spend, we spend one on education.” He also pledged to launch various measures for students and job seekers to help pave the way for their future.

Margaret Fong, Executive Director, HKTDC, noted that the expo continues to feature education and career theme days, providing students and job seekers with valuable information on further education and employment trends.

She added that various seminars and activities are organised to evaluate job prospects in different industries and help young people to identify careers that best suit their talent and interests.

Brand new career theme days cater to industry needs 

Responding to human resources needs of different industries, the expo features four career theme days spotlighting employment demand and trends of various sectors.

27ECE_LargeThe Tech & Innovation theme day (23 February) explores the trends in digital technology and research and development, areas that the government has been actively promoting in recent years.

In addition to expert insights from industry representatives about the application of innovation technology in the commercial sector and aviation industry, the Vocational Training Centre (VTC) is showcasing some of the latest innovative projects jointly developed by its teachers and students.

These include a smart drying rack that combines automatic sensors and a mobile app. Visitors can also get hands-on experience of the latest interactive technology such as controlling robots via smart devices and testing their skills in virtual reality (VR) games.

A series of seminars highlighting opportunities in the creative sectors such as digital games, film, performing arts, fine arts, design, architecture and media are organised under the Arts theme day (24 February).

With various large-scale infrastructure projects underway in Hong Kong, the industry is constantly seeking new talent. As such, the ever-popular Electrical & Mechanical theme day (25 February) returns to the expo.

Formed by the Electrical Mechanical Services Department along with 18 related organisatons that include CLP Power Hong Kong Ltd, MTR Corporation Ltd and the Water Supplies Department, The Hong Kong E&M Trade Promotion Working Group explores industry prospects, provides information on training programmes and offers job opportunities on-site.

Organised with the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, the events on the Startup theme day (26 February) target young people who want to start their own businesses. Representatives from online stores, cafes and other businesses will share their stories and explore startup opportunities and challenges with visitors. Among them, founders of Y Cocktail & Mocktail and local artisanal beer brewery Mak’s Beer will talk about their entrepreneurial journeys tomorrow (24 February).

2,300 vacancies via on-site recruitment

Various government departments and public and private sector organisations are accepting on-the-spot job applications with over 2,300 job vacancies are expected to be offered, including those in the Police Force, Fire Services Department, Hong Kong Airport Authority, Aviation Security Company Ltd and Centaline Property Agency Ltd. Job seekers should bring their resumes for on-the-spot job application.

To prepare students for employment, the Youth Zone offers information on internships and employment opportunities. Besides, representatives from the Labour Department are on hand to provide information on mainland jobs and overseas working holiday programmes, as well as the Youth Employment and Training Programme, which is designed to support local youth employment.

A one-stop career information hub

The expo’s education theme days spotlight the Chinese mainland (23 February), Japan (24 February), Europe (25 February) and Australia and New Zealand (26 February). Representatives from these countries will provide the latest updates on overseas study opportunities. Visitors can learn about admission procedures, entry requirements and campus life by attending thematic activities and seminars.

Due to keen interest in studying in Japan, the inaugural Japan theme day offers information on admission requirements of Japanese educational institutions and government scholarships.

Regarding the Chinese mainland, the Scheme for Admission of Hong Kong Students to Mainland Higher Education Institutions covers 90 mainland higher education institutions, including Tsinghua University and Peking University. Representatives from the Office of the China Education Exchange (HK) Centre are ready to talk about trends and opportunities for further studies on the mainland.

The newly launched “International Exchange Village” gathers various Consulate General (CG) offices and officially recognised bodies. Together, they provide visitors with a range of information and offer consultations on studying and working abroad. Participating CG offices include Hungary, Korea, Mexico, Sweden and South Africa, as well as countries along the “Belt and Road” such as Bangladesh, Cambodia, Czech Republic, Iran and the Philippines. Students can explore education and exchange opportunities in these countries.

Other organisations such as VTC, Hang Seng Management College, The Open University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Shue Yan University are available to discuss their respective curricula. Education programmes on arts and creative industries are also available via the Arts Education Section of Education Bureau, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and Baron School of Music, offering students more channels to pursue their studies.

Celebrity sharing on job experiences

About 100 activities are organised throughout the expo, featuring further education and industry trends. Renowned speakers include Chairman of Hong Kong’s Commission on Youth Lau Ming-wai (23 February) discussing the challenges of finding the right career path; media veteran Stephen Chan (24 February) and chairman of a digital game company Sze Yan-ngai (24 February) explaining technology, media, arts and giving advice on ways to turn personal interests into careers; and Hong Kong Jockey Club apprentice jockey Kei Chiong (25 February) will share her experience of chasing her dream to become a jockey.

Other seminar highlights include practical tips on taking IELTS examinations as well as the Chinese skills in preparation for the Diploma of Secondary Education hosted by Dr Au Yeung Wai-hoo (“Ben Sir”), Senior Lecturer at the Chinese Language and Literature Department of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Yan Yuk-ki, author and consultant for the 5 Stars Chinese Compositions Series. A series of seminars on working holidays are also organised to present the application requirements and types of work available in Japan, Germany, France and other countries and regions. – BusinessNewsAsia.com