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The Salvation Army x Hong Kong Federation of Restaurants & Related Trades
Green plus Work Safety Chef Training Scheme Appreciation Ceremony
The Green plus Work Safety Chef Training Scheme organised by The Salvation Army and Hong Kong Federation of Restaurants and Related Trades Charitable Foundation Limited (HKFORT) is fully supported by Hong Kong Electric, Labour Department, Occupational Safety & Health Council and Qualifications Framework Secretariat. Three terms of training courses have been arranged for the middle-aged and the youth who are interested in becoming chefs and related professionals in the catering industry. Today (14 October 2016), an Appreciation Ceremony was held to share the transformation stories of the participants and demonstrate the achievements of the scheme.
Mr Leung Wing-yan, Deputy Commissioner of the Labour Department, officiated at the ceremony. He said that the scheme linking up the catering industry with the job seekers created a win-win situation. As one of the major industries in Hong Kong, the catering industry provides a considerable number of job opportunities. Regardless of job experience, age and ability, as long as the job seekers are interested in the catering industry, they were welcome to join the scheme to receive a two-week intensive training on cooking techniques in Western and Chinese cuisine, work safety knowledge and the usage of electrical cooking appliances.
Participants who finished the course were referred to the recruitment session to seek apprenticeship in restaurants. The supporting restaurants assigned senior staff as mentors to help the participants adapt to the working environment and provide on-the-job training, while The Salvation Army social workers provide consultation services to the mentors and apprentices. The scheme aims at boosting the employability of the participants and developing their career path. In addition, the supporting restaurants can recruit potential staff for further business development. Both sides benefit from this scheme. 
A total of 31 persons aged 16 to 58 have joined the scheme so far. 16 of them were employed by the supporting restaurants, including Tai Hing Catering Group, Tao Heung Group, Black Sheep Restaurants, King Parrot Group, etc. 
Case Sharing 1: From a housewife to a chef
Ms Lui was born in Mainland China and moved to Hong Kong with her husband more than a decade ago. In the early years of arrival, she had been working as a part-time waitress due to language barriers. Ms Lui recently wanted to find a stable job to improve her living because her children have already grown up. However, her age and lack of experience made her unable to find a better job.
During the counseling of The Salvation Army Education and Employment Services, Ms Lui told The Salvation Army social worker that she is interested in cook jobs. Then she was transferred to the Green plus Work Safety Chef Training Scheme and learned basic cooking skills of Chinese and Western cuisine. Once she learned to cook a new dish, she practised at home and asked her daughter to give comments. Her proactive and positive attitude was finally rewarded. She was employed by a German restaurant under King Parrot Group after the training.
In the new job, Ms Lui had difficulty communicating with English speaking colleagues and working for longer hours. To help her adapt to the challenges, the employer gave her a grace period, shortening her working hours and lowering the working pace. Currently, Ms Lui has already got used to the working environment and has successfully improved her living.
Case Sharing 2: More than a Job
Mr Tam is one of the participants in the first term of the scheme. He has been a renovation worker but was owed wages by his employer. As a result, he could not afford the rent and was forced to sleep in the park for a week. After seeking assistance from The Salvation Army Integrated Service for Street Sleepers, he stayed at The Salvation Army Yee On Hostel and was introduced to the Green plus Work Safety Chef Training Scheme.
Within two weeks, he attended a catering course, a job safety talk, a knife knowledge and technique training course, and became an apprentice at HK Electric’s Electric Commercial Kitchen where he learnt to make various dishes with electrical cooking appliances.
In the last day of the training, interviews were conducted by the catering companies. With a good performance, Mr Tam was hired by Trusty Congee King of Tai Hing Catering Group where he met senior chefs who are willing to guide him.
Mr Tam has been working there for over eight months. Despite the busy life and long working hours, he gains a sense of achievement at work and has developed a passion for cooking. So far he has attained the second grade of the qualification certificate, and is going to take the first grade test in the near future.
The Green plus Work Safety ...
Ms Lui finds a job which ca...
Mr Tam who was forced to be...