SHKP mentors help young people thrive
Youngsters complete six-month Modern Apprenticeship Programme on a high note
The graduation ceremony for the 2019 Modern Apprenticeship Programme themed ‘Exploration and Practice in the Workplace’, sponsored by Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) and co-hosted by Breakthrough, was held recently. The event marked the growth and development of 17 young people from six secondary schools within half a year, during which they took part in a series of life-planning training workshops and camps, as well as internships at SHKP and its subsidiaries. Under the guidance of SHKP staff mentors and Breakthrough tutors, the apprentices got to know themselves better and gained valuable vocational experience. The programme also broadened the students’ horizons of workplace life, helping them explore and map out their career paths.
At the graduation ceremony, the apprentices were awarded certificates in recognition of their efforts in the programme during the past six months. In addition to recounting their unforgettable experiences, the apprentices thanked their SHKP mentors and Breakthrough tutors, who helped them build up the confidence to leave their comfort zone. Apprentice Lai Hoi-ying said that working in an SHKP shopping mall as an intern was a new experience for her. Whenever she was tasked with responding to challenging enquiries, her colleagues would patiently teach her how to handle them, allowing her to develop interpersonal skills and deal with difficult situations more effectively. Another apprentice, Sin Chun-hei, said he came to understand the importance of responsibility through the programme. He admitted that initially, he had little interest in an internship and was reluctant to go to work, but a wake-up call from his colleagues led him to change from being apathetic to proactive at work, a transformation that surprised both his mentor and his tutor.
Addressing the ceremony, Breakthrough General Secretary Joyce Man expressed her gratitude for SHKP’s support for the Modern Apprenticeship Programme throughout the years, which saw youngsters deepening their self-awareness while gaining workplace soft skills under the life-impacting guidance and coaching of SHKP staff mentors. Chow Wai-hung from The Royal Garden Hotel, who participated in the programme as an SHKP mentor for the first time, said he was pleased to be able to support young people in the workplace in a mentor-apprentice relationship and witness the transformation and growth of apprentices during the internships, which made him realize the significance of the role of mentors. This year, SHKP provided internships for apprentices in a variety of positions, including property management, shopping mall promotion, hospitality and clubhouse services, and construction.
SHKP has been running the Modern Apprenticeship Programme with Breakthrough since 2003. The programme offers diverse personal growth training and internships to students who have underperformed academically, helping them explore their career aspirations for future development. Over the past 17 years, the programme has enlightened and provided opportunities to over 300 young people who faced limited academic horizons. This year, the programme expanded the target group to students in secondary four in a bid to help them develop their self-identity and obtain work experience earlier for better life planning.
About Sun Hung Kai Properties
SHKP is committed to developing premium properties and offering customers ideal homes with top-notch service. The Company believes in Building Homes with Heart and contributes to the community to make Hong Kong a better place for everyone. SHKP lives up to its corporate social responsibility by leveraging resources and networks to advocate reading and holistic development, healthy and sustainable living, and care for the underprivileged. Maintaining excellent performance in sustainable development, SHKP has been included in the Hang Seng Corporate Sustainability Index Series since 2010.
Over the past four decades, the management team has led and encouraged SHKP staff to help those in need and to give back to society with their professional knowledge and skills. The company also engages stakeholders to garner and produce positive energy in the community.
2020 SHKP Sports-for-Charity Funded Projects Kick-off Ceremony
Committed to Building Homes with Heart, Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited (SHKP) has long advocated healthy living and Sports-for-Charity, and has continuously encouraged citizens to participate in sports to “sweat for good deeds”. A total of HK$9 million was raised through the SHKP Sports-for-Charity initiatives last year, which will be used to support eight projects dedicated to children and youngsters, benefitting over 10,000 people. SHKP hopes that the donations will bring positive energy to the beneficiaries and assist them in achieving more in the future.
Supporting the Development of Children and Young People through Sports-for-Charity
Officiating at the kick-off ceremony of the 2020 SHKP Sports-for-Charity Funded Projects today were SHKP Chairman & Managing Director Raymond Kwok; SHKP Deputy Managing Directors Mike Wong and Victor Lui; Executive Directors Adam Kwok, Christopher Kwok and Allen Fung; and representatives of the various beneficiary charity organizations.
At the ceremony, Raymond Kwok said, “We would like to express our gratitude to the various charity organizations for sharing our belief in Sports-for-Charity and supporting underprivileged children and young people. Together, we will support various projects developed for children, primary and secondary students, and other youngsters, ranging from mental support for those facing family hardships, emotional and mental health, to STEM education and physical fitness training. Our aim is to help them achieve and develop their full potential, and enable them to grow and flourish.”
Chua Hoi Wai, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS), said, “We are grateful to be given this opportunity to join hands with SHKP to nurture the next generation of Hong Kong. We hope that the beneficiaries will reciprocate and pass on the spirit of Sports-for-Charity after receiving love and care from the community.”
Charles Chan, Executive Director of The Boys’ & Girls’ Clubs Association of Hong Kong (BGCA), said, “SHKP’s longstanding support for, and dedication to, the Hong Kong community has helped many underprivileged youngsters through difficult times, helping them develop the confidence and courage to embrace the future.”
To promote the spirit of Sports-for-Charity, SHKP held the SHKP Sports for Charity Carnival at the Hong Kong Velodrome in October 2019. Over a thousand participants had fun exercising together, and SHKP turned their collective effort at the carnival into donations. In addition, SHKP fulfilled its pledge after two cancelled events, the 2019 SHKP Vertical Run for Charity – Race to Hong Kong ICC and the Sun Hung Kai Properties Hong Kong Cyclothon, making extra donations to keep the total donations unchanged for the beneficiary charities for their originally planned projects for underprivileged children and young people. The SHKP Sports-for-Charity initiatives raised HK$9 million last year.
Discovering a Silver Lining with Children during Difficult Times
Part of the donations will go to the HKCSS to help with their commitment to support the ‘SHKP Rainbow with KIDS’ project for the fourth consecutive year. The programme aims to support children and teenagers under the age of 18 who have encountered family crises, such as the loss of a parent, family violence, or parental separation or divorce, in the past two years. The project has benefitted over 620 individuals, helping the young people get through the difficult times and gain the courage to face the future.
Organizations taking part this coming year include Baptist Oi Kwan Social Service, Harmony House, Hong Kong Single Parents Association, and the Hong Kong Catholic Marriage Advisory Council. Through different methods such as individual and group counselling, training sessions and game therapy, each organization will help children and young people from families experiencing trauma relieve their emotional burden and re-build their confidence. It is estimated that over 200 individuals will benefit during the new term of funding.
Programme for the Gifted to Discover Their Potential
SHKP has sponsored BGCA’s ‘SHKP – Science & Innovation Project for the Gifted’ initiative since 2015. The aim of the project, which has helped 360 individuals so far, is to help gifted underprivileged children discover their potential. SHKP will use part of the donations raised in Sports-for-Charity events last year to continue its support for the project, which will offer one-year of free STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) courses to gifted Primary 3 to Form 2 students from underprivileged families. The project aims to develop their potential and interest in STEM, especially in the areas of marine biology and engineering. The project will help an estimated 75 gifted children from underprivileged backgrounds during the new term of funding.
About Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited
Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited (SHKP) is committed to developing premium properties. With its Building Homes with Heart philosophy, SHKP lives up to its corporate social responsibility by leveraging its resources and networks to advocate reading and holistic development, healthy and sustainable living, and care for the underprivileged and youth.
Over the past four decades, the management team has led and encouraged its staff to help those in need and to give back to society using their professional knowledge and skills. SHKP also engages its stakeholders to create and share positive energy in the community.
SHKP and Sheng Kung Hui Welfare Council join hands to develop United Court（同心村）, a large-scale transitional housing project
Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) and the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Welfare Council (the Welfare Council) announced today their cooperation in developing a large-scale transitional social housing project, United Court in Tung Tau, Yuen Long. The project is conveniently located with minibus and bus routes nearby, while taking only 10 minutes to walk to West Rail Line’s Yuen Long Station or Long Ping Station. Upon expected completion in early 2022, it will provide a comfortable home for 1,600 underprivileged families and ultimately benefit 5,000 families. United Court will provide opportunities for residents to engage with the surrounding community, mutually benefitting one another, making it a distinctive transitional housing project in Hong Kong.
Apart from United Court, SHKP also announced that it will develop transitional housing at two other sites, respectively in Kam Tin South and Kwu Tung town centre. The three projects will span close to 400,000 square feet and provide 2,000 transitional flats in total, benefitting over 6,000 families and giving more than 20,000 people a comfortable home.
The 300,000-square-foot United Court is located on Yuen Long Kau Hui Road near Shan Pui Tsuen. Apart from lending the lot for a minimum of eight years, SHKP will work on preliminary project planning and basic site formation, and provide property management consultancy upon completion. The Welfare Council will be responsible for project planning, construction, operation and management, and for providing residents with a variety of people-oriented community services.
Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Welfare Council Vice-Chairman Michael Lai said, “The Welfare Council is glad to announce at the start of the year the collaboration with SHKP to develop this very meaningful transitional housing project, United Court, to help address the overcrowding living conditions of 1,600 underprivileged families. We estimate that up to 5,000 families will eventually benefit as they move in to United Court before being allocated public housing.”
Mr Lai added that United Court would feature people-oriented, engaging and harmonious community design, planning and facilities, including social enterprise stores and weekend markets, providing residents with diverse community engagement opportunities. The Welfare Council will introduce a first-of-its-kind Well-Being Index that would promote healthy living habits, positive energy and confidence among residents. The Welfare Council will also provide residents with services based on their physical, mental and spiritual health, in the hope of developing a systematic service operation model unique to community housing.
Sun Hung Kai Properties Executive Director Adam Kwok said, “SHKP understands the keen demand for housing in Hong Kong. We have therefore leveraged our resources to help improve the living conditions of underprivileged families. Earlier, SHKP had lent some village house flats in Tuen Mun to Yan Oi Tong via The Hong Kong Council of Social Service to develop into Green Garden, a transitional social housing project. The success of Green Garden has given us the confidence to take on a larger-scale transitional housing project.”
He continued, “Adhering to our spirit of Building Homes with Heart, we believe the United Court development will become a role model for transitional social housing projects. We hope it will bring much warmth to families in need via this transit residence that can help them prepare for a better future.”
Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan said, “Through the concerted efforts of many sectors of the society, the announced transitional housing projects, including the 8,000 flats announced earlier and the 2,000 flats announced today, have together achieved our goal of building about 10,000 transitional housing flats in the coming three years.”
He expressed his gratitude to the organizations and companies involved for their support of, and contribution to, transitional housing, and said he hoped the community would continue to support such efforts to provide enhanced living opportunities for people in need. He said that having a comfortable home and a good job is the key to social stability and that the government would continue to look for sites to develop housing to provide a long-term solution to Hong Kong’s housing shortage.
Five unique features of United Court:
i. Convenient location, comprehensive facilities, neat site and short completion time
It takes only 10 minutes to walk from the conveniently located United Court to West Rail Line Yuen Long Station or Long Ping Station. The location is also well connected by bus and minibus routes. Comprehensive community facilities near the project include grocery markets, large-scale shopping malls, secondary schools, primary schools, kindergartens, and cultural and sports amenities.
The site has a proper rectangular shape and does not require government involvement in building large-scale infrastructure, such as roads. It is estimated that construction can be completed by the end of next year, while the project will be ready for move-in by early 2022.
ii. Spacious, people-oriented design
The Welfare Council will provide people-oriented design, services and activities. It will make good use of public spaces to offer leisure, recreational, sports and children’s facilities, including a 10-metre-wide central promenade, so that residents can exercise and develop healthy habits. United Court will also provide diverse participation and engagement opportunities for residents.
iii. Markets and social inclusion
United Court is all about social inclusion. Weekend flea markets will be held on a regular basis. The Welfare Council will introduce social enterprise stores, a community kitchen, shops selling daily necessities, barter trade shops, and so forth. These initiatives will not only provide bargain options for residents, but also enhance their interaction with surrounding community for mutual benefit, and to establish a harmonious and inclusive neighbourhood.
iv. Well-Being Index for physical and mental health
The Welfare Council has over 50 years of experience serving the residents of Yuen Long and would introduce a first-of-its-kind Well-Being Index for United Court, which will assess the physical, mental and spiritual health of residents before they move in, during their residency, and before they move out for big data analysis and the data will facilitate their provision of services.
v. Improved work competitiveness and employment assistance
SHKP and the Welfare Council will provide residents with appropriate vocational training, and SHKP will leverage its experience in developing the district. SHKP now manages over 70 residential and shopping projects in Yuen Long, Tin Shui Wai and Tuen Mun, with about 3,000 property management staff. In the coming three to four years, about 400 new staff will be hired. Eighty percent of them are frontline roles. The Group also has several development sites, which require a lot of construction workers. SHKP is happy to consider giving priority to the residents to fill the job vacancies, if they are willing and the right fit can be found.
SHKP was one of the first property developers to develop in Yuen Long and has steeped experience in the district for over 30 years. The Welfare Council has provided different community services for the district in Yuen Long for more than 50 years and has a deep understanding of the community and a comprehensive service network. SHKP started collaborating with the Welfare Council in Yuen Long in 2016. SHKP donated a site located near Yuen Long Station to the Welfare Council to develop Hong Kong’s first cross-generation integrated social service facility, which provides for a special-need child care centre, a youth hostel, an elderly home and other amenities.