2017 was a very busy year where many of our projects were themed around history and education. This is not a coincidence. As an energy utility and one of Hong Kong’s oldest companies, we have been part of the city’s fabric for over a century. And we know that there is no better way to build brighter tomorrows and to pass the torch to the next generation than learning from history.
Sir Michael Kadoorie, chairman of CLP Holdings, often says that history is the basis of our shared heritage, culture and values. It helps us appreciate our past and shape our future. It is for this reason CLP commissioned the production of “A Century of Power” documentary to chronicle our contribution to the development of Hong Kong. Through the film, which was launched last year, we hope to ignite the interest of young people in the fascinating history of Hong Kong, to encourage them to learn from the past and cultivate a positive vision for the future.
In another initiative aimed to inspire the younger generation to understand more about their home, we took part in “Lumieres Hong Kong”, HK’s first light festival integrating heritage with culture as their Energizing Partner. Through creative light installations, art pieces and video projections exhibited at 16 iconic landmarks across both sides of the Victoria Harbour, the event encouraged our youth to discover and remember their heritage from the past, as well as to stimulate innovation for their future.
There are social and demographic changes that are creating increasingly polarised views and expectations within and among communities. Hence, striking a balance that is acceptable by all stakeholders, especially on the more complicated issues, is becoming very challenging. We need to be able to communicate complex messages in a simple and effective manner and help to inform stakeholders of the facts from all sides.
Technological advances in communications have enabled more people to access more information at any time. This in turn seems to heighten everyone’s expectations in many areas including corporate responsibility and so businesses need to stay ahead of these new channels of engagement. However, we should not just see the risks posed by these new technologies, but also the potential opportunities. Digitalisation not only helps us engage our stakeholders more efficiently and effectively, but can lead to a digital transformation of our business whereby new ways of engaging stakeholders, new revenue streams or business models become available. CLP is well prepared to capitalise on the opportunities these trends provide.
For many years, the utility sector has benefited from a remarkably stable workforce. People entered the industry and stayed for many years. In recent years, power engineering industries, similar to other major industries, are facing a shortage in technical professionals, due to retirement waves and the lack of interest of the younger generation to join the industry. At the same time, we are keenly aware of a rising tide of youth discontent, which is often linked to the perceived lack of upward mobility in our society.
We believe it is our responsibility to contribute solutions. By launching various educational initiatives, we not only provide the younger generation with opportunities to learn about our industry and offer them more career opportunities, these programmes also help ensure a pipeline of talent for us.
Apart from continuing to support education on energy, environment and sustainability from kindergarten to university, we launched the CLP Power Academy in Hong Kong in 2017. This professional training institution offers professional diploma courses and other advanced programmes for young people who want to pursue a career in the power industry. The Academy has been hugely popular and we have recorded multiple oversubscriptions at every recruitment so far. More programmes will be launched in 2018/19 for interested students with different academic backgrounds.
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