The soon-to-be relocated Kwun Tong training centre for the disabled will return to a site near its current spot in 2025, according to a top official.

The current site of the Shine Skills Centre will be handed over to the government in 2021 to be redeveloped as a civil service college.

Shine Skills Centre.

The decision to relocate the Shine Skills Centre was announced in Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s policy address in October. The Shine Skills Centre, in which 330 students aged 15 and above are taught practical skills, operates under the Vocational Training Council.

The relocation sparked a public outcry and protests, as stakeholders criticised the government for failing to communicate the matter with them.

The new site will be around 1,200 square metres smaller than the current site.

Gov’t u-turn

On Wednesday, the Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong announced a U-turn, saying that the new Shine Skills Centre would be rebuilt around the same area.

Speaking to reporters, Law said the centre would eventually be moved around 200 metres to a 4,000 square-metre site. Its new site currently houses the Skills Training and Activity Centre. The plan might be completed in 2025, he added.

Meanwhile, the current site of the Shine Skills Centre will be rebuilt as a civil service college.

Law said that between 2021 and 2025, the government planned to move the Shine Skills Centre to a site on Oxford Road in Kowloon Tong that formerly housed the Caritas Francis Hsu College.

Law Chi-kwong. File Photo: GovHK.

Law also said the government planned to provide transport for students of the Shine Skills Centre travelling between urban areas and the site on Oxford Road.

“Why is it smaller?”

Labour Party lawmaker Fernando Cheung welcomed the plan to relocate the centre in the same area, but questioned why the new site would be smaller than the current one.

“[The government] said it will be a better site that can host more students. But why is it smaller?” he said.

Cheung also criticised the choice of the temporary Oxford Road site: “It is very inconvenient and old.”

He suggested the government consider the former Kwun Tong Vocational Training Centre of the Hong Kong Christian Services – a vacant site next to the Shine Skills Centre – as a temporary site.

Lui Tak-shun, chair of Vocational Training Council Skills Centres Staff Association, also welcomed the plan, but said he hoped the government would reveal more details and consult stakeholders.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.