The Policy Address 2000

Young People - Our Future Leaders

73. Young people are the most important elements of our community as they represent our future. Most of our young people today enjoy a healthy lifestyle. They are intelligent, keen to learn, aim high and have outstanding achievements. However, in Hong Kong, as in other places, there is a small number of young people who are at risk, so we should complement our efforts in education with services in the areas of youth protection, development, counselling, support and rehabilitation. In this way we can improve the physical and psychological well-being of our young people, and give timely help to the troubled minority to overcome their problems.

74. We need to enhance our leadership training for outstanding young people to groom them for roles as future leaders of society. Young adults should be given opportunities to play a more active role in community affairs. I have urged our numerous advisory boards and committees to co-opt more distinguished younger members of the community so that we can get a better perspective of the views and aspirations of the younger generation.

75. This year, the Government will expand the Youth Pre-employment Training Programme for job-seeking school leavers. We will also continue with our efforts in implementing "Project Springboard" to encourage young people to continue their education.

76. In paying more attention to young people at risk, we need to devote more resources to help them. As a first step, we have launched the "One Social Worker for Each Secondary School" programme in all secondary schools. Based on our experience, we will be more flexible in the deployment of resources and strengthen our youth welfare service to enable early detection of problems and provide timely counselling.

77. The tripartite efforts of families, schools and the community are essential in nurturing our next generation. Over the years, many voluntary youth organisations have made important contributions to society in serving our young people with dedication and commitment. The Commission on Youth has presented the Government with many constructive ideas and youth development is at the top of our working agenda for social development. In future, we will require all social policies to take youth development into account. In addition, the Education and Manpower Bureau, the Home Affairs Bureau and the Health and Welfare Bureau have been providing young people with a wide range of services. Last year, there was a fundamental review of expenditure on these services and we will carry out a further study on the co-ordinating structure and consultation mechanism of youth work. We intend to work more closely with non-governmental organisations to explore more effective ways to rally the many positive forces in society and bring them into full play for the betterment of the younger generation.

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