Title: Long-Term Effectiveness of the Hong Kong Employees Retraining Programme
Reference Number: 1010
Publication Date: April 2000

William Chan
The University of Hong Kong

Wing Suen
The University of Hong Kong

The Employees Retraining Programme, launched by the Hong Kong government in 1992, was promoted as the solution to structural unemployment resulting from rapid transformation of the economy. However, our study of the labour market performance of a group of trainees who received skills training in 1994/5 shows no evidence of any positive effect on the earnings, days of employment, employment rate or unemployment rate of trainees more than three year after the completion of training when compared to a group of job searchers. In particular, full-time training is found to be less effective than part-time training, and training in general skills (language, computer and office skills) is significantly less effective than training in specific occupational skills. This suggests problems in the design and implementation of retraining in Hong Kong. The Programme has yet to fulfill its rather lofty promise.

Published in Pacific Economic Review 8 (January 2003), pp. 79-98.

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Last modified: 01/23/2007