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Caring for education and development of the younger generation

Addressing the multifarious educational and developmental needs of our young people is one of the policy priorities of the current-term Government. In this respect I often get in touch with young people on different occasions and through different means, to listen to their views and learn more about how they are doing in their studies and in their lives.

Today, I attended two activities for young people. In the morning, I went to a secondary school in Yuen Long to attend the launch ceremony of this year's secondary student summer internship programme organised by the Hong Kong Coalition of Professional Services and the Yuen Long District Secondary School Heads Association. This programme was initiated by me in 2008 to help secondary students in Yuen Long District expand their horizons through a two-week placement with professional firms or other organisations. Through this programme, some students went to Central or worked with professionals for the first time in their lives.

This year there are 90 organisations participating in the programme, providing a total of 310 internship places, for which over 400 students have applied. As I said at the ceremony this morning, I hope that through this programme students can gain a better understanding of how society works and what employment options are available, and build a positive attitude towards their careers and interpersonal relationships.

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In the afternoon, I met with about 190 students and teachers from seven secondary schools at Government House. Some of the students brought their winning entries from the RoboCup Junior China-Open 2014. They will go on to represent China at the RoboCup Junior 2014, an international technology contest to be held in Brazil in late July. Another group of students had just come top in the Long-Term Problem 2 Division II of the Odyssey of the Mind 2014 World Finals, an international competition that tests students' creativity and problem-solving skills. Congratulations to our students on winning all these honours!

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Hong Kong's young people are ambitious and creative. They are receptive to new things and ready to broaden their horizons. The community should create more opportunities for them. The proposed Innovation and Technology Bureau will expand the range of employment and career development opportunities for our young people, so that they can apply what they have learnt in school after graduation.

June 21, 2014