Scheme boosts lifelong learning

Knowing that there is no end to education, restaurant manager Wang Wai-leung’s boss encouraged him to take part in the Award Scheme for Learning Experiences under the Qualifications Framework last year.   He won an award to engage in the Restaurant & Bar Hong Kong and Gourmet Asia exhibition where he was exposed to all kinds of innovative products and the latest epidemic prevention measures.   Learning about the benefits of a full-body disinfectant machine was an eye-opener for him.   “People can walk into the machine. It uses a sanitising spray that cleans you thoroughly in just a few seconds. If the market needs new products, we'll need to adapt to it,” he said.   Mr Wang believes the catering industry has to improve its cleaning standards in order to strengthen consumer confidence.   Armed with knowledge from the exhibition, he now helps to assess the epidemic prevention needs at his restaurant and shares new ideas with the company’s management.   Enlightening experience   Another awardee Angel Lee works as an assistant manager at a travel agency, responsible for planning tour itineraries and personnel training.   Her boss motivated her to join the scheme last year. After winning the award, she chose to attend the World Trade Market in London.   “I have always had a passion for attending the expo in London. It has long been considered second to none, so I chose it immediately,” said Miss Lee.   Although the conference was eventually held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, its content was still fruitful as it covered tourism strategy and technology.   What inspired her the most was a meeting that discussed changes affecting the size of group tours amid the pandemic.   “There used to be at least 20 to 30 people in a group tour. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is believed that group tours would be conducted in smaller sizes in the future.   “The expo’s speakers were tourism elites from all over the world. Their views were more forward-looking, particularly those about post-pandemic travel.”   Miss Lee emphasised that she is now more confident about the tourism industry’s future after listening to their views.   Ideal role models   The Award Scheme for Learning Experiences covers 23 industries, and its 2021-22 round is open to applications till May 27.   A maximum of three applicants may be selected by the respective industry training advisory committee for an award each year. Awardees attending learning activities to be held in Hong Kong will receive a $10,000 award while those attending learning activities outside Hong Kong will be given $30,000.   Qualifications Framework Secretariat Senior Manager Ernest Lee said the committees are composed of employers, chambers of commerce, employee representatives, etc. They will suggest local and overseas learning activities for applicants to consider.   “The scheme offers conferences, study tours and contests from which the awardees can learn about the latest technology and practices in their respective industries. They can also have exchanges with other practitioners to keep abreast of the latest trends.”   He pointed out that non-designated activity ideas will also be considered if applicants find them more helpful to their career, and hopes the awardees will serve as lifelong learning role models for their respective industries.
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