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Taking the winning track

With its unique coaching programme designed to both train young part-timers and promote post-retirement work, the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) won the Excellent Learning & Development Award under the HR Practices category at last year’s HKIHRM HR Excellence Awards. The programme also saw it come out on top in the Grand Award of the Year.

The Telebet Service Coach programme is an initiative designed to add an innovative twist to the training regime of HKJC’s Telebet Services Department. It sees retired Telebet Services employees return and take up the role of mentors to share the customer-service techniques, experiences and tips they have acquired over the years with new recruits.

“Each year, the Telebet Services Department recruits thousands of new part-time staff who require training and supervision,” said Nicholas Yuen, HKJC’s telebet manager (business operations), at a showcase forum for 2013 award winners at this year’s awards launch ceremony. “The programme is a ‘triple win’ solution that has benefited the recruits, the retired staff and the club.”

Another 2013 winner, Vision Skill Consulting, is a Hong Kong company that has trained more than 4,000 staff to provide safe and reliable transport services for pilgrims using Saudi Arabia’s Al Mashaaer Al Mugaddassah Metro line during the annual Hajj pilgrimage. The project won them the Excellent Education & Training Provider Award last year.

“The railway only operates seven days a year,” says Kyan Tan, principle consultant at Vision Skill. “This is the unique part of the project and it requires the hiring of temporary staff.”

During the lead-up to the Hajj – which in recent years has involved around three million pilgrims a year – Vision Skill designs and delivers training programmes to staff from many different countries. Programmes must therefore incorporate cultural sensitivities and tackle other restrictions.

“Ramadan is the biggest challenge,” Tan says. “People are not allowed to eat or drink during the daytime for a month and they become tired and find it harder to learn. We can only deliver training at night after they break the fast, usually after 8pm.”

The aim of the project is to provide operations and temporary staff with the training to ensure the pilgrimage is incident-free. By meeting the goal of zero accidents over the past four years, this is exactly what the project has achieved.