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Cable car talents scale new heights

November 12, 2017

Tourist hotspot

Tourist hotspot:  The Ngong Ping 360 attraction opened in 2006. It is the longest twin cable aerial ropeway system in Asia.

Daily dedication

Daily dedication:  A team of technicians ensures the cable car system stays in tip-top shape, conducting daily checks on stations, cable towers and ropes.

Sharpening skills

Sharpening skills:  Ngong Ping 360 Senior Manager Wong Chan-man (left) says a training compound which simulates complicated maintenance operations has helped staff enrolled in the programme for a Diploma in Cable Car Technology to become more efficient.

Further studies

Further studies:  Cable car maintenance technician Chan Ming-kit (right) says the programme's courses are very helpful for new staff as the studies deepen their understanding of the entire cable car system.

To boost the capability and competitiveness of Hong Kong's workforce, more companies are offering training courses to tap into the potential of internal talent.

 

The operator behind the city's famed Ngong Ping 360 cable car system is one of them.

 

To enhance the skills of employees, promote sustainable learning and aid career advancement, Ngong Ping 360 set up a training centre, offering its first programme in 2014 for a Diploma in Cable Car Technology.

 

It became the first Government-recognised vocational qualification in the subject. Full-time staff members are eligible to attend the free two-year part-time programme to obtain their diploma.

 

Hidden experts

The Ngong Ping 360 attraction opened in 2006. It has the longest twin cable aerial ropeway system in Asia, with 90 staff responsible for its upkeep.

 

The 5.7km journey linking Tung Chung and Ngong Ping on Lantau Island boasts breathtaking panoramic views of iconic sites such as the Big Buddha and Hong Kong International Airport.

 

Behind the scenes, a team of technicians ensures the cable car system stays in tip-top shape, so it is safe and reliable.

 

Leung Siu-wah has been part of the team for 10 years. He worked as an electronics repairman before joining Ngong Ping 360 as a cable car maintenance technician.

 

He rides from Tung Chung to Ngong Ping twice a day in a maintenance cable car to conduct daily checks on stations, cable towers and ropes.

 

"We perform maintenance work, in particular system overhauls and improvement work. We also regularly examine the system's tyres and belts to make sure the tension of the cables are up to standard."

 

Mr Leung is a graduate of the diploma programme. He says his studies gave him a deeper understanding about the entire cable car system.

 

"In the programme I learned a lot about different aspects of cable car systems in different countries and regions, for example, their different operations, structures and safety factors."

 

Real-life scenarios

In addition to what they learn in a classroom setting, students also get hands-on experience in a training compound which simulates complicated maintenance operations.

 

Ngong Ping 360 Senior Manager Wong Chan-man says it is crucial to keep a tight turnaround on emergency repairs to shorten the suspension period of cable cars.

 

He said the training compound has helped staff become more efficient.

 

"Before they studied this course, they may use 20 minutes to complete the emergency repair of the tyre and the bearing hub. But after the training, they will only use 10 minutes to finish the tyre and belt replacement."

 

Chan Ming-kit has worked as a cable car maintenance technician for three years and is now enrolled in the programme. He said the courses are very helpful for new staff.

 

"It is a unique course that we can only study here. We can always learn maintenance guidelines on our own. But having actual training models to demonstrate procedures is so much better."

 

Skill recognition

The Diploma in Cable Car Technology is classified in Qualifications Framework standards at QF Level 3.

 

To boost recognition of qualifications for different industries, Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced in her maiden Policy Address the Government will inject $1.2 billion into the Qualifications Framework Fund.



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