The arboriculture and horticulture industry is young and evolving. Young people lack stable jobs and training opportunities in the industry. The Trainee Programme enables arboriculture and tree management graduates to receive on-the-job training to acquire working experience, paving the way for qualified arborists and tree climbers in the future.

The Trainee Programme is applicable to graduates of arboriculture, tree management and tree work programmes at Level 3 to Level 5 of the Qualifications Framework offered by local vocational, tertiary and training institutions. The programme will provide a training allowance of about 30 per cent of agreed monthly remuneration levels to the trainees through their employers, as well as a bonus of $30,000 and $20,000 upon their acquisition of recognised arborist or tree climber professional qualifications respectively. The training periods for arborist and tree climber trainees are three years and 18 months respectively.

Eligible employers are invited to participate in the Trainee Programme to take in arborist and tree climber trainees at agreed or higher remuneration levels (including the training allowances provided under the programme). They are also required to provide structured training that meets stipulated requirements. Government tree management departments will also join the programme, working hand in hand with the industry to train arborists and tree climbers.

The Government has commissioned the Construction Industry Council (CIC) to administer the Trainee Programme. The programme accepts applications from employers throughout the year. The relevant application form and training framework document can be downloaded from the website of the CIC (www.cic.hk/ufsf-tp_e) .