CLP, the largest electricity utility in Hong Kong, organized a career talk for HKU engineering students on February 11, 2009. While serving over 80% of Hong Kong’s population, CLP also has extensive investments in the Asia-Pacific region. The company recruits talents through well-coordinated scholarship, sponsorship, internship and Graduate Trainee (GT) programs, by which students get to understand the industry and HKU keeps abreast of industrial trends.
The GT program aims at fostering professional engineers in the power industry and developing high-potential graduates to become future leading engineering experts. It is a 2-year structured training program accredited by HKIE as a Scheme A Program which fulfills the requirements to obtain HKIE’s Corporate Membership. The program is open for students majoring in Electrical, Electronic and Mechanical Engineering. The number of intakes depends on business needs and the quality of candidates. This year’s intake target is more than ten. The successful candidates will be offered some basic training in CLP’s Training School first. After that, they learn practical experience by doing in different line departments, which provides broad exposure and networking opportunities. In terms of management support, department heads are assigned as mentors and senior managers take up the responsibility of engineering supervisors. The GT program demonstrates CLP’s commitment in people development. In recent years, many CLP GT have won the Trainee of the Year Award of HKIE.
During the talk, HKU alumnus Dr Lee Yui Bor, currently Non-executive Director of CLP, shared his success story with the audience. Dr. Lee’s first full-time job was being an intern at CLP in 1968. After postgraduate studies, he joined CLP again in 1976 and worked there for 30 years until retirement. In the 80’s, his career grew along with the expanding economy of Hong Kong and China. He took part in projects enhancing power system stability such that blackouts were minimized. Developing the 400kV system from paper to reality gave him a great sense of achievement. “Looking back, it was both challenging and interesting to be a professional engineer,” concluded Dr Lee. “I am grateful that CLP has always been an employer with integrity in business practices and engineering professionalism. With the support of management, I had always made difficult decisions with a clear conscience.” Lastly, Dr Lee reminded us that career success depended on personal competence and performance.
Some members of the audience were interested in job rotation opportunities. In general, CLP encourages job rotation as a means of people development. However, for a young engineer in the first few years of career, it is preferable to build a sound foundation of technical competencies in a selected area first. The talk ended with keen participation from the audience.