Mr. CHENG Man-tak, Richard
Chairman of Clothing Industry Training Authority

The year 2022 proved to be a difficult time for the Authority and other sectors due to the fifth wave of the pandemic that hit Hong Kong in the early months. This had a severe impact on businesses, educational institutions, and the public at large. Despite these challenges, I am pleased to report that our team has remained professional and committed to improving the standards of Vocational and Professional Education and Training (VPET).

Nurturing Digital Professionals
Due to the pandemic, businesses are adapting to a new mode that relies heavily on digitalisation and remote operations. To support this shift, the Authority is actively training digital professionals to meet the growing market demand. We are also improving VPET and collaborating with partners in the Greater Bay Area to facilitate cross-border exchanges and joint development. This regional integration provides momentum for our development and broadens our scope.

Promoting VPET
VPET is an important part of the education system in Hong Kong. It offers young people an alternative path to traditional academic education, which helps them achieve their goals and advance in their careers.

Our commitment is to support the HKSAR Government’s vision of transforming Hong Kong into a world-class smart city. We believe that human resources are vital to the success of Hong Kong, and we are continuously improving our VPET programmes, teaching equipment, and facilities to foster intelligent talents. Our efforts are geared towards increasing the digital aspect of the curriculum and aligning it with the industry’s needs to address the growing demand for skilled professionals.

In promoting VPET, the Authority has spared no effort in training the Hong Kong team for the WorldSkills Competition. Dubbed the “Olympics of Skills”, this competition is held once every two years to enhance the skill level of young people, foster VPET, and provide a valuable platform for technical exchange among competitors. At the 46th WorldSkills Competition, which took place in Helsinki, Finland from 20 to 23 October, 2022, a total of 20 competitors from different countries and regions participated in the “Fashion Technology” trade. Hong Kong’s representative, Miss LIMBU Nisham, received intensive training every day at the Authority and was well-prepared for the competition under the guidance of the Authority’s experts, eventually winning a Medallion in “Fashion Technology”, which proves that the skills of Hong Kong competitor is comparable to international standards and is well recognised.

In December 2021, the Authority was appointed by the Secretary for Education as the sole officially designated Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Assessment Agency for the fashion industry and started to provide RPL assessment services for the apparel industry in January 2022. This is a recognition of our significant achievements in promoting VPET and expanding professional recognition in the industry. We will continue our efforts to provide assessment services to more practitioners to help them obtain the professional qualifications and enhance the competitiveness of the industry.

Innovation and Cooperation
Despite the difficulties posed by the pandemic, we have been proactive in finding new and creative ways to teach and collaborating with different groups. Our teaching approach now includes a hybrid mode of online and face-to-face training to enhance the learning experience. We are also actively pursuing partnerships and projects both domestically and internationally to give our trainees a more global perspective and improve their ability to communicate across cultures.

Our institution values strong connections with the industry. We conduct research and transform our findings into teaching materials to enhance our trainees’ practical skills and knowledge. Additionally, we welcome industry experts as guest lecturers to provide trainees with the most current industry trends and expertise.

Industry Sustainability
The Authority has been working on promoting sustainable development through various projects, such as the Fashion Summit (Hong Kong) supported by CreateHK. The theme for the year 2022/23 is “Actions to the Sustainability Journey” as sustainable fashion is a progressive path that requires action to improve and accelerate. The Summit, scheduled for October 2023 at the Xiqu Centre, will feature speakers from around the world to discuss key issues in sustainability in the fashion industry through keynote speeches and panel discussions.

CreateHK also supported the establishment of the Sample Development Centre to assist Hong Kong fashion designers in creating prototypes for their own brands.

Breaking New Ground Together
Over the past year, our team has overcome numerous difficulties and made tremendous efforts to promote the development of VPET. Moving forward, we will keep working to nurture professionals with digital skills, innovative thinking and a global perspective to contribute to the sustainable development of the industry.

I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to our authority members, management and staff for their concerted efforts and dedication during the year, as well as the support from the Government, industry partners and collaborating organisations, which have enabled us to provide quality education for the fashion industry in this challenging year.