During the year, Clothing Industry Training Authority (the Authority) launched a series of activities with unfailing support from the industry. I am very pleased to share with you our achievement.
Driving the Fashion Industry
One of the highlights in the 2016 Budget was the implementation of the three proposals, made by the Advisory Group on Implementation of Fashion Initiatives, for driving the development of the fashion industry. Leverage the resources from market and industry, the Authority facilitates the setting-up of a resource centre to provide technical training and support for young designers, with an aim to transform Hong Kong to a regional fashion hub in the Asia.
In November 2016, the Authority had firstly established the Sample Development Centre, which aims to provide “design-to-production” services assisting designers to make prototypes and specification sheet. The Centre can help young designers to materialise their design ideas into prototypes.
Another development was the collaboration with the Hong Kong Design Centre in launching the Fashion Incubation Programme. For nurturing local fashion designers and entrepreneurs, the Authority has offered facilities in the Kowloon Bay Training Centre to support design start-ups to build their business networks, publicise their products and conduct market promotions.
Promotion of Vocational Education and Training
From the report issued by The Task Force on Promotion of Vocational Education in 2015, it recommended a three-pronged strategy with a total of twenty-seven recommendations to further strength vocational education and training. The recommendations had been endorsed in the 2016 Policy Address, which stated that they would be implemented in phases.
In this connection, the Authority played a vital role in developing the Specification of Competency Standard (SCS) of the fashion industry, under the steer from the Fashion Industry Training Advisory Committee. To setup as unified benchmarks, the preparation of SCS included meeting with the industry for acquaintance of skills, knowledge and competency standards required of the practitioners in various job functions. Taking into the account of the current conditions and future development, and the new skills and knowledge required by the industry, the SCS could provide a roadmap of training framework for the industry, as well as enhance the skills standards, and lift the competitiveness of the whole industry to a new height.
Applied Research and Development & Improvement of Skills
As another means of achieving the end of advancing vocational education and training of Hong Kong’s fashion industry, we are creating win-win partnership with local and Mainland research organisations to achieve synergies in applied research, whilst enhancing the competencies of our staff and the practitioners.
The Authority is always committed to strive for sustainability by increasing production efficiency, resources saving, reducing wastages, promoting clean production technology for the industry. During the year, three sustainability research projects awarded funding support from Innovation & Technology Fund and SME Development Fund. The Authority could then offer a variety of relevant training courses upon completion of those projects. Furthermore, Activity-based Carbon Footprint Model (ACFM) had already been successfully launched in 2015. The Model had received substantial support from the industry with the fact that more than 50 licenses were acquired over the past year.
We continue to inject resources in the development of our training facilities, providing a better learning environment for our students and fortifying the professional image in teaching. During the year, several projects were completed, including renovation of the whole building of Lai King Training Centre and the workshop on the 5/F of Kowloon Bay Training Centre.
In the advent of the fourth industrial revolution, there comes unprecedented changes in traditional industries and business models. To keep abreast of this new challege, the Authority has committed to nurture talents to meet the need of industry. We keep on offering new programmes and introducing advanced technology to strengthen the skill set of students.
Our people is the pillar of our strengths and achievements. I should like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to all parties who have contributed to the Authority’s success over the past year, including members of the Authority, the HKSAR Government, industry partners, and of course our dedicated staff. I thank them all for their unfailing support.