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5 000 employees approved for workplace English funding
16 May 2000


More than 3 700 applications have been received for funding when application for the first phase of a funding scheme under the Workplace English Campaign closed yesterday (15 May).

About 3 500 applications, involving a total commitment of about $7.5 million, have been approved. About 3 300 are individual applications and 200 are from companies, benefitting 1 700 employees.

"The initial response to the funding scheme is quite encouraging.  It's a good start which will benefit 5 000 employees," the Chairman of the Steering Committee on the Workplace English Campaign, Mr Michael Tien, said today (16 May).

He said, "Feedback from applicants indicates that they need more time to identify training courses and to register for the relevant examinations."

To enable more employees to benefit from the funding scheme, the Steering Committee is considering ways to provide greater flexibility and convenience to applicants when the second phase of the funding scheme is launched next month.  Details are being worked out and will be announced in due course.

As part of the year-long Workplace English Campaign, the funding scheme provides subsidies to meet 50% of employees' training costs and examination fees, up to a maximum value of $1,500 per employee.  Grants will be given to applicants in the form of reimbursement after they have completed a training course and attained the relevant English-language benchmarks in international tests.  Applications can be submitted by individual employees as well as by companies on behalf of their employees.