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IVE partnership with Johnson Controls
Apr 2013

The number of graduates with a bachelor’s degree qualification has increased significantly in Hong Kong in recent years. According to the Census and Statistics Department, the percentage of the working population holding a bachelor’s degree or above qualification has now reached over 25. As a result of the increased supply of graduates holding higher qualifications, companies can afford to be more selective and are putting greater emphasis on students with rich practical experience. Ms Wendy Wong, Senior HR and QEHS Manager, Johnson Controls Hong Kong Limited explains how partaking in vocational education at IVE helps graduates prepare for employment in the engineering industry.

Established in 1885, Johnson Controls (JCI) is a multinational company in the building and automotive industry. Operating in over 150 countries and employing 170,000 people, JCI has a well-developed training system designed to equip the engineering graduates with a broad range of skills through a series of programmes including local and overseas training opportunities. These range from JCI’s ‘Helping People Achieve’ programme to global e-learning platforms that help maximise employees’ self-development opportunities.

Practical training

WONG, amongst her many other duties, holds responsibility for talent sourcing and development. She is entrusted with the critical task of monitoring and assessing the recruiting methodology for hiring new graduates. To this end, WONG places great importance on hiring students who have gained practical experience in industrial attachment. She explained, “The IVE programmes place heavy emphasis on practical and technical training, and students are better prepared to work in a complex, global organisation such as JCI. Aside from academic knowledge IVE students also possess practical skills which help them maximise their learning in the attachment.” WONG also observed that, as a result of collaboration between IVE and companies such as JCI, students are able to familiarise themselves with typical engineering company culture and operations before they take up full-time employment.

WONG explained why JCI recruits so many IVE students for attachment, “They are willing to learn, and generally have clear goals and vision. This is because they have chosen to study a specific subject, as opposed to a generic one.” She also heralded the importance of a positive learning attitude – something that she has identified in IVE students

Onsite learning

An IVE attachment at JCI offers students with an opportunity to work in a dynamic, challenging and complex workplace environment. Mr CHAN Ming Cheong, a Higher Diploma (HD) student in Electrical Engineering stated, “During the attachment, I get to work onsite and have to think about optimum efficiency when tackling engineering problems.” Students also have the opportunity to work on challenging engineering projects. Mr Tommy CHAN, another HD student in Electrical Engineering remarked, “I recently worked at the construction site of the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal Building. It was a fantastic opportunity and great experience for me.”

The attachments also help give students a focus in a particular aspect of engineering, which then helps them make more informed decisions regarding future career directions. Mr CHAN Man Hin, a HD student in Mechanical Engineering said, “As a graduating student, there are many different career options for me to choose from. My attachment in JCI has helped me to decide which area I would like to specialise in, for both future studies and for career development.”

Ready to go

Mr Keith KWOK, an IVE graduate and Assistant Service Manager at JCI explained that having been involved in the attachment scheme while studying at IVE, he had more opportunities to build a successful career. Kwok added, “I joined JCI as a Senior Technician in the Services Department, responsible for building management systems. Following this I took up additional responsibilities, becoming involved in various other projects of building management systems. In recent years I have specialised more in electrical and mechanical systems, such as HVAC installation and modification works in data centre’s power supply system.” KWOK strongly believes the programme at IVE helped equip him with the skills needed for a successful career in JCI. He commented, “The attachment greatly helped me prepare for the professional world.”

WorldSkills Competition

Mr MAK Lok Him, a VTC Youth College graduate and Mechanic at JCI was given the opportunity to enter various events including the WorldSkills Competition in London, at which he received the Medallion of Excellence award.

MAK commented, “Both the VTC and the JCI encouraged me to join the WorldSkills competition. This fantastic opportunity allowed me to compete in a world stage and to share industry best practices with other contestants.”

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