The challenges surrounding youth employment have been regarded as intensively severe and drastically aggravating in the 21st century of globalisation, AI, and digitalisation, and particularly so due to the COVID pandemic.  In regard to the agenda of youth employment, the International Labour Organisation of the United Nations stated that “Even in the best of times, young people faced a tough situation in the labour market.  Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic they were around three times more likely to be unemployed than adults.  The crisis now threatens to exacerbate existing inequalities within and between countries.”

Crisis and opportunity are twins that can go hand in hand to bring about a win-win situation for all major stakeholders – industries, institutions, graduates and the government.  On that note, strong industry-institution collaboration would be a great assistance.  Cross-sector barriers would need to be dismantled for “workforce alignment”, and for the “key to keeping learners and the institutions relevant” to take place (Long, A. (2023) “Transforming Higher Ed for the Future of Work”, The EvoLLLution, 22 February).

Hong Kong has recently been responding in full gear.  Youth employment was addressed in Chief Executive’s 2022 Policy Address, “through the strategy of fostering industry-institution collaboration and diversified development, promote VPET as a pathway parallel to conventional academic education, providing diversified learning and employment opportunities for young people”.


The conference is formulated as an advocacy for Industry-Institution Collaboration and Lifelong Learning in the 21st century when changes have become the norm of both life and workplace.

  1. That are pivotal to nurture graduates for employability amidst an ever-changing world of globalisation, AI, and digitalisation.

  2. To bring out transformation for success in students’ education journey towards “workforce alignment” between industries and institutions.

The conference aims to provide a platform for leaders from tertiary institutions and industries to discuss the strategies and challenges in industry-institution collaboration.  These cross-sector dialogues are designed to be very embracive in agendas, covering good practices in quality assurance and delivery locally and globally, as well as the outlook of our graduates, the intended learning outcomes of our tertiary education.