Earn & Learn Pilot Scheme for Retail Industry

The Scheme will not accept new participation since 2021


To address the current manpower shortage and groom a quality labour force for the retail industry, the Financial Secretary announced in his 2014-15 Budget an allocation of $130 million to support manpower development of the retail industry. One of the foremost initiatives is the launch of the Earn & Learn Pilot Scheme for Retail Industry which is jointly organized by the HKRMA and the Vocational Training Council (VTC).

The Scheme will help the retail industry:

  • To recruit a pool of new blood

  • To ease pressure of manpower shortage

  • To lessen the training pressure as VTC will train student-workers according to a well devised curriculum

  • To develop and retain a dedicated and trained workforce in the long run

Employer's Guide

Employment Terms

  • To enter into an 18-months (applicable to Diploma of Foundation Studies) or 30-months (applicable to Higher Diploma) employment contract with the participating student-workers;

  • To provide an average monthly remuneration of HKD$5,300 (applicable to Diploma of Foundation Studies) or HKD$5,920 (applicable to Higher Diploma) to each participating student-worker in a progressive increase approach as follows:

  • The total working hours for each student-worker should not be more than 117 hours per month;

  • To schedule a workplace roster of 3 days per week to allow the student-workers to acquire work experience and at the same time attend class at the Vocational Training Council (VTC) 3 days per week;

  • The arrangements of Annual Leave and Statutory Holiday should be provided in accordance with the Employment Ordinance;

  • If the student-workers drop out from the Diploma programme or being de-registered by VTC, the participating employers have the right to terminate the contract;

  • Any other benefits or terms provided in accordance with the company's policy and governed by the laws of the HKSAR.


Tuition fee

  • Participating company is required to sponsor each student-worker's tuition fee of HKD$1,300 per month (applicable to Diploma of Foundation Studies) or HKD$2,900 per month (applicable to Higher Diploma). The amount is paid directly from participating company to the VTC every semester. The tuition fee is non-refundable if the student withdraws from the Scheme amidst the semester


Recruitment of Students

  • To recruit Secondary 6 school leavers to join the Scheme, a recruitment day will be arranged at VTC’s campuses at the DSE Result Announcement Day. VTC and participating retailers will arrange walk-in interviews with interested candidates. Participating company is required to arrange staff to conduct interviews with candidates. The recruitment procedures are as follows:

    • VTC assesses the candidate's qualifications.

    • VTC distributes the participating company list to candidate.

    • Candidate selects interested participating company.

    • Participating company conducts interview with candidate and confirm offer.

    • VTC register for the admitted candidate and arrange payment of registration fee.

  • Participating company is required to conduct interview and select their candidate on their own. Otherwise, participating company will not be assigned any candidate.


Responsibilities of Employers

  • To maintain close communications with VTC on the learning and working progress of the participating student-workers;

  • To provide standardized practical working and learning objectives for the student-workers in the workplace;

  • To provide a mentor to train, give feedback and assess the performance of the student-workers at the workplace;

  • The Government will offer each student-worker with satisfactory attendance in class and workplace (80% respectively) an allowance of an average of $2,000. For this purpose, participating companies have to keep and retain attendance record of student-workers at workplace. Company may require to provide the attendance record upon request when necessary;

  • To inform VTC in writing within 7 days if any student-workers resign from the Scheme or being terminated due to breach of the employment contract.

Arrangement for graduates

  • Upon graduation, if participating employers continue to employ the graduates, participating employers have to offer the graduate of Diploma of Foundation Studies a monthly salary inclusive of commission and allowances of no less than HKD$11,000. For graduates of Higher Diploma, the monthly salary inclusive of commission and allowances should not less than HKD$13,000, and to offer clear career progression pathways for the graduated student-worker.