Hong Kong training produces first female chief engineer of seagoing ships
JOANNA Kwok has become the first woman in Hong Kong to qualify as a chief engineer of seagoing vessels
JOANNA Kwok has become the first woman in Hong Kong to qualify as a chief engineer of seagoing vessels.
Chief Kwok talked about her experiences at a press conference, entitled 'A Successful Maritime Professional Series,' that was jointly held by the Maritime Professional Promotion Federation (MPPF) and other maritime organisations at the Hong Kong Maritime Museum.
Chief Kwok has joined Anglo-Eastern Ship Management Limited since completing a Higher Diploma in Mechanical Engineering at the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education.
Following her unflagging efforts over the past few years, she has finally achieved professional success in a traditionally male-dominated industry. Her experience has conveyed a significant and positive message to the shipping industry in Hong Kong and consolidated awareness among young people on vocational and professional education and training.
Representatives of the Hong Kong Shipowners Association, the Vocational Training Council (VTC) and its Maritime Services Training Board, Anglo-Eastern Ship Management Ltd, the Maritime Services Training Institute, the Nautical Institute, the Hong Kong Seamen's Union and the Hong Kong Institute of Marine Technology were also at the press conference to share their views on what makes a successful maritime professional.
Hong Kong is an international maritime centre, yet, the city faces the problem of a shortage of maritime professionals, which is an issue encountered by other maritime centres.
To encourage more young people to join the maritime industry, the MPPF took the initiative to launch a seagoing subsidy scheme between 2002 and 2004, providing scholarships for those who aspire to work at sea and on board vessels.
The government also launched the Sea-going Training Incentive Scheme in 2004 to provide more deck cadets and engineer cadets with financial incentives. To date, 550 deck and engineer cadets have participated in the scheme, which provides a cash allowance to cadets during their training.
Many beneficiaries have acquired Certificates of Competency (deck officer or marine engineer officer) and are working in various major organisations, including the Marine Department. The Maritime and Aviation Training Fund (MATF) was later set up by the government in April 2014 to support the manpower development of the maritime and aviation sectors.
Since then, the scheme has been operated under the MATF. In May 2019, HKD200 million (US$25.58 million) was approved to be injected into the MATF to sustain and enhance existing training schemes and scholarships, as well for launching new initiatives for the maritime and aviation sectors.