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Ocean Park’s Theme Park F&B Trainee Programme Aspires Young Talents to Pursue a Delicious Career as a New Series Sets to Begin this Fall

2010-06-07

(Hong Kong - 7 June 2010) The second class of young trainees under the unique “Ocean Park Theme Park F&B Services Trainee Programme”, a major collaboration between Ocean Park and the Labour Department’s Youth Pre-employment Training Programme and the Youth Work Experience and Training Scheme (YPTP‧YWETS), Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups (HKFYG) and the Hospitality Industry Training & Development Centre (HITDC), attended a graduation ceremony held at Ocean Park today. The graduating trainees shared their experiences and performed a demonstration on how to prepare a special drink and Hong Kong-style egg waffles.

The graduation ceremony was attended by Ocean Park Chief Executive Mr Tom Mehrmann and mascot Whiskers, as well as other representatives such as Mr. Kath Chan Kwok-keung, Programme Director of YPTP‧YWETS, Labour Department, Ms Amy Fung, Deputy Executive Director of HKFYG, and Mr. Stanley Chui, Senior Training Consultant of HITDC.

The “Ocean Park Theme Park F&B Services Trainee Programme” is another one of Ocean Park’s many ongoing social initiatives to utilize the Park’s available resources to reach out to the community. Launched in 2008, the programme enables young people between 15 to 24 years of age to go through nine months of on-the-job training with the Park’s Food Services Department.

In the ceremony, Ocean Park Chief Executive Tom Mehrmann said, “Ocean Park is very glad to be joining hands with the Labour Department, HITDC, HKFYG and our mentoring staff to give our youngsters an opportunity to learn about the industry and discover their talents. Ocean Park has always been dedicated to giving back to the society, and for this year’s programme we have invested HK$1.4 million to pay for wages, the HITDC courses and other staff benefits for the trainees.”

He continued, “We are very pleased that 21 out of the original 25 trainees are graduating (compared with 16 in 2009), which is certainly an encouraging growth and we cannot be more pleased with that. Last year, 7 trainees were hired by Ocean Park and this year we will also give priority to graduates from the programme. Currently, we have confirmed that 9 graduates will continue to work at Ocean Park.”

Mr Kath Chan Kwok-keung, Programme Director of the YPTP • YWETS of Labour Department, said, “the “Theme Park F&B Trainee Programme” is one of the most popular special employment projects among YPTP • YWETS trainees. Through the project, trainees have successfully made the first step in career development. With the training opportunities offered by Ocean Park, the support of YPTP • YWETS and the caring guidance of co-partners, the trainees have established a solid foundation for future career development after the completion of 9-month substantial training. I hope all trainees can make the most of this golden chance and march towards their goals by following the blueprints of their career developments.”

Ms Amy Fung, Deputy Executive Director of HKFYG, said, “9 months of training certainly represents a host of challenges and tests to the youngsters. From getting used to the job, utilizing their talents to the setting of goals in life, these experiences will eventually become important assets during their course of career development.”

Mr. Stanley Chui, Senior Training Consultant of HITDC, said, “the first batch of graduates for the programme have already graduated last July. Over the course of their training, the trainees divide their time between Ocean Park and HITDC to gain crucial knowledge of F&B services and techniques. They are also assessed based on their knowledge and practical skills. Hopefully the trainees would have gained from the process and they thoroughly deserve their success today. I wish them luck in their future work to provide the best possible F&B services to the guests of Ocean Park.”

The graduation ceremony took place in Panda Cafe where trainees shared their memorable experiences during class and practice. Some demonstrated the preparation of special drinks and egg waffles which greatly impressed the VIPs in presence. Graduation certificates were handed to the 21 graduating trainees, while 3 exceptional trainees Kam Wing Yin, Sham Kin Long and Wong Ka Yan were given the ‘Outstanding Trainee Award’, ‘Best Academic Student’ and ‘Best Progress Award’ respectively.

Zero Chan, a graduate from last year who is now working in Ocean Park’s Food Services Department, said, “I’m pleased to be granted a permanent position at Ocean Park. While the classroom is a place to learn about different aspects of the industry, you can only put everything into practice in a real working environment. This programme gave me a lot of help in my career and is very useful.”

Wong Ka Yan, one of the 21 graduates this year, said, “When I graduated last year, I didn’t have a clue about my future, and the lack of experience made it difficult for me to get a job. After joining this programme, I have learned and experienced a great deal during these 9 months. I used to be shy and hesitant. Now I’m much more outgoing and proactive; and I learned to be more independent and organized. I am so lucky to have made a group of great friends while we go through the same experience. Without their encouragement, I would not have made it til the end!”

A new series of the “Ocean Park Theme Park F&B Services Trainee Programme” will be open to enrolment this month. Details will be announced later. Training will begin in September with the following criteria:

- Aged 15 to 24
- Form 3 or above but below Associate-degree level
- Interest in engaging in the Food & Beverage industry
- Speaks fluent Cantonese, basic English and Putonghua
- Outgoing, polite and responsible
- Enjoy an outdoor working environment and able to work in shifts

Stay tuned to the web sites of Ocean Park, Labour Department and HKFYG if you are interested.

Photo 1: Whiskers, Ocean Park Chief Executive Tom Mehrmann (Right 5), Mr Kath Chan Kwok-keung, Programme Director of the YPTP • YWETS of Labour Department (Left 2), Ms Amy Fung, Deputy Executive Director of HKFYG (Right 3) and Mr. Stanley Chui, Senior Training Consultant of HITDC (Right 1) gather for a group photo with all graduates.
Photo 1: Whiskers, Ocean Park Chief Executive Tom Mehrmann (Right 5), Mr Kath Chan Kwok-keung, Programme Director of the YPTP • YWETS of Labour Department (Left 2), Ms Amy Fung, Deputy Executive Director of HKFYG (Right 3) and Mr. Stanley Chui, Senior Training Consultant of HITDC (Right 1) gather for a group photo with all graduates.
Photo 2: Trainees demonstrate how to prepare cocktails and egg waffles
Photo 2: Trainees demonstrate how to prepare cocktails and egg waffles