The Secretary for Transport and Housing, Mr Frank Chan Fan, last Friday (July 20) hosted the Maritime and Aviation Internship Scheme Cocktail Reception, at the Hong Kong Maritime Museum.
Mr Chan exchanged views on the development and prospects of the maritime and aviation sectors with local students participating in the Internship Scheme as well as with stakeholders from the maritime and aviation sector.
In his speech, Mr Chan said that as an international maritime and aviation centre and a regional logistics hub, Hong Kong’s maritime and aviation industries have been flourishing. The Government has all along been committed to nurturing more talent for the maritime and aviation sectors, so as to reinforce the sustainable development of the two industries.
Mr Chan added, the Government has always attached importance to the long-term development of the maritime and aviation industries, which account for 4.2% of Hong Kong’s gross domestic product.
The Government would continue to push forward with manpower development work to groom talent for the two industries.
On the maritime front, through better use of the Maritime and Aviation Training Fund (MATF), the Hong Kong Maritime and Port Board has been working closely with the industry to actively drive and facilitate the development of the maritime sector and high value-added maritime services, as well as provide relevant training programmes, with a view to promoting Hong Kong’s position as an international maritime centre.
Mr Chan said he hoped that the participating students would actively consider joining the maritime and aviation industries upon their graduation, and become a new force in the two sectors.
Launched in 2014, the $100m MATF has been in operation for five years – a designated period that will come to an end on 31 March 2019. The Fund has been well received by industry stakeholders and participants of various related schemes. For the Maritime and Aviation Internship Scheme under the MATF, more than 60 companies have participated in the Scheme this year, offering nearly 780 internship places and representing an increase of more than 20% compared to last year.
Funds are expected to be made available to extend MATF for a further five years but the amount is yet to be announced. Industry representatives such as the Hong Kong Shipowners Association have been lobbying for an increase in monies available under the Fund and a widening of its ambit.