LegCo Panel on Manpower
Progress of measures to create jobs and tackle unemployment
This paper sets out the latest progress on the measures to tackle unemployment and create jobs, as well as additional employment opportunities which have been announced by the Task Force on Employment.Latest Initiatives
2. The Task Force on Employment announced after its meeting on
25 February 1999 the Government's latest efforts in modernising and strengthening its employment services, as well as its latest initiatives in enhancing the retraining and job matching services for local domestic helpers. These enhancement measures are set out in detail in the papers at Appendix I
and Appendix II
Progress of measures to create jobs and tackle unemployment
3. The latest progress of other measures is set out in the following table:
Special relief measures to boost the economy
|Progress of job creation as a result of Government's policy initiatives, investments and measures|
According to Government's latest assessment, 32,763 non-government jobs have been created from May 1998 to end 1998, as a result of the Government's key policy initiatives and major infrastructure or other projects. In addition, during the period, 5,600 civil service vacancies were filled.
Some 122,000 new jobs and vacancies are expected to be generated in the labour market, from 1999 to 2000, by major government initiatives and projects. These 122,000 jobs comprise 8,500 government posts estimated to be filled up to 31 March 2000, and 113,500 jobs in the subvented and private sectors.
|Extra measures to create jobs
|1||Advancing commencement of public works projects|
- Since May 1998, 236 works contracts/consultancy agreements worth a total of $16.4 billion have commenced and some 18,600 jobs comprising 3,100 at the professional/supervisory level and 15,500 at the operative level have been created.
- Considering the possibility of advancing some more projects.
|2.||Expediting expenditure on minor Government maintenance works
- Started minor maintenance works worth a total of $99 million.
- 1,150 jobs created as of 31 January 1999.
|3||Expanding and accelerating district-based environmental improvement projects|
- 44 temporary works supervisors have been employed since 9 November 1998 for managing the works projects and supervising the works contracts.
- Contracts for 104 projects worth a total of $15 million have been awarded as at the end of January 1999, creating about 610 jobs.
|4||Direct Grant of the former Tamar Site to the Hong Kong Tourist Association(HKTA) for facilitating the staging of recreational, entertainment and tourism-oriented activities, resulting in job creation.|
- The 33rd Hong Kong Products Expo was staged between 18 December 1998 and 11 January 1999.
- For the first quarter of 1999, two more events will be held: Hong Kong Lantern and Temple Festival (5 February to 3 March 1999) and the Chinese New Year Parade (16 February 1999). There are also other organisers who have indicated interest in staging activities such as exhibitions, carnivals, games and entertainment at the site in 1999.
|5||Major repair and maintenance works for aided schools leading to the creation of 3,730 new jobs between mid- 1998 and end-1999. These new jobs include 420 carpenters and joiners, 650 plasterers, 510 plumbers, 510 painters, 210 electricians, 1,060 general labourers and 370 blacksmiths.
Some of the works contracts have been awarded and the rest will be awarded in batches.
- Around 2 720 new jobs for various construction trades have been created by the end of January 1999.
|6.||To implement the following three community building projects, which will create 3 590 new jobs (for Temporary Community Organisers) from 1 December 1998 to 31 March 1999:|
promotion of private building management;
promotion of fire safety; and
survey on the housing condition of new arrivals.
- The Home Affairs Department has, in conjunction with the Labour Department, been recruiting the 3 590 Temporary Community Organisers from late November 1998 onwards. Around 7 601 applications have been received as at 8 February 1999 and about 2 926 vacancies have been filled.
|B||Strengthening and improving the Labour Department's employment and job matching service|
|7.||Strengthening the Job Matching Programme(JMP)
- Capacity of JMP doubled from 2 July 1998, with an additional team of two staff at each of the 11 Local Employment Service (LES) offices of the Labour Department.
- In January 1999, the JMP registered 1,509 registrants and arranged 10,800 job referrals. 639 placements were secured, as compared to 729 in the previous month.
|8.||Providing telephone referral and vacancy processing service for job-seekers|
- Services commenced at all 11 LES offices from 6 July 1998.
- In January 1999, LES received a total of 12,400 telephone calls from job-seekers seeking job referral service. 9,079 referrals, as compared to 5,635 in the last month, were arranged.
- In January 1999, LES obtained consent from 1,850 employers involving 4,068 vacancies (i.e. 50.8% of the total number of vacancies received) to display their information at LES so that job-seekers can contact them direct for arranging job interviews. During the month, employers cancelled their open orders for a total of 1,382 vacancies. A large percentage of these vacancies are believed to have been filled by job-seekers who contacted the employers direct for job application.
- The Department set up a Telephone Employment Service Centre in North Point on 21 December 1998 with a view to further strengthening the telephone referral service. To enhance operational efficiency, a Job Vacancy Processing Centre has also been set up to centralise the receipt and processing of vacancy orders, as well as the dissemination of vacancy information to LES offices.
|9.||Installing more self-serve touch-screen computers|
Completed the installation of additional computers at all LES offices and 10 Labour Relations Service offices in October 1998.
|10.||Launching an Employment Information and Promotion Programme|
- The Programme commenced in August 1998.
- As of 31 January 1999, visits and promotional activities under this programme have reached out to 1,047 employers and 17,740 job-seekers.
|C.||Enhancing vocational training and employees retraining
|11.||Setting up a "One-stop" unit at the Employees Retraining Board(ERB) to assist both the unemployed and employers ||
- From 9 July 1998, ERB has provided two telephone hotlines --
one for employers and the other for employees. Up to 31 January 1999, a total of 6,421 and 27,571 telephone enquiries from employers and employees respectively werehandled and 4,740 vacancies registered.
- With enhanced promotion and extension of office hours to 7 pm and during lunch hours, 5,595 potential retrainees have approached the "one-stop" service team at ERB Executive Office for consultation and/or submission of applications for various retraining courses since July 1998. Whenever required, officer-rank staff provide in-depth information on courses available, location of training bodies and placement results of relevant retraining courses to help applicants select appropriate courses that suit their own interests and abilities.
- The one-stop service team also provides enhanced follow-up service for employers approaching the ERB for enquiries or assistance.
|12.||Launching a special nine-month Certificate of Skills Training(Service Industries) Course for 1,000 unemployed persons to be run jointly by the ERB and the Vocational Training Council (VTC)|
- Classes commenced on 14 September 1998, with 600 places provided by the Technical Institutes and 400 by training bodies.
- Graduate trainees with Secondary 3 education will be allowed to apply for three civil service posts--Clerical Assistant, Supplies Attendant and Supplies Assistant.
- A total of 916 students completed the first term successfully. As some students have dropped out to take up employment, to better utilize the remaining training places, 74 students who were previously on the waiting list were topped-up in the second term which commenced in mid December 1998. There were 966 students on the course as at 25 January 1999.
|13.||Special training programme for the maritime industry jointly run by the VTC and ERB for the unemployed
- The first class of the special seafarer training course for 21 trainees commenced on 9 September 1998. The main classroom training completed on 19 December 1998. As at 6 January 1999, 4 trainees have dropped out, 8 trainees are required to attend missing classes to make up for the course. Among the 9 graduates, 8 have already joined or will join the maritime or related industry, e.g. as sailor or Junior General Purpose Rating etc.
|14.||Implement a special one-year full-time Vocational Studies Certificate programme for 1000 Secondary 5 leavers at the various Technical Institutes of the Vocational Training Council in October 1998
- The additional 1,000 places are spread over 10 one-year courses. Of these, 2 are existing courses while 8 are new ones. The new courses aim at facilitating graduates either to secure jobs direct, or to pursue further studies.
- Classes commenced on 12 October 1998.
|15.||Increase by 392 over the existing total of 1,124 training places (i.e. to 1,516 places, comprising 600 full-time and 916 part-time) for Secondary 5 leavers at the Construction Industry Training Authority(CITA) in 1998/99
- The one-year full-time Construction Supervisor/Technician Training Programme commenced in mid-September 1998, providing a total of 600 training places.
- The various Short Courses suitable for Secondary 5 leavers (totalling 916 training places) and lasting for about three months commenced since September 1998 in accordance with the planned capacity.
|16.||Enhance the retraining-cum-job matching programmes for domestic helpers and child-minders under the Employees Retraining Board (ERB).|
- The ERB's one-stop service received 5,634 enquiries, and 2,143 vacancies on domestic helpers from July 1998 to January 1999. ERB is working closely with its training bodies in coordinating the process of matching trainees with domestic helper vacancies in different geographical districts.
- ERB is taking active steps to encourage its training bodies to increase their training capacity for domestic helpers especially those on the Hong Kong Island where plentiful job vacancies remain unfilled. In addition to the recently set up training centres in Wan Chai and Shaukiwan, some training bodies are exploring new possible sites, e.g. Western District, for conducting domestic helper training programmes. As a result of the expanded efforts, over 2,700 retrainees have benefited from such training during the latter half of 1998, representing a 250 % increase over the number for the first half of the year.
- ERB has approached the Hotel Industry Training Centre of VTC and trade associations in hotel industry for securing practical facilities and training opportunities in domestic helper programmes in order to enhance the course quality.
- Training bodies have strengthened their placement efforts in job-matching of domestic helpers programme by maintaining a central register of both retrainees to be placed and employers in need of domestic helpers. Some training bodies are trying to offer "job-packages" comprising different part-time jobs within the proximity to retrainees to save their travelling time and expenses. Computer software have been developed by some training bodies to increase their efficiency in job-matching.
- ERB has strengthened its promotional efforts to publicize the course. A marketing flyer was developed and issued in later October 1998. An Announcement of Public Interest (API) on ERS with a special focus on domestic helpers training has been featuring on television since mid-October 1998. Special promotion campaigns such as mini exhibitions and road shows have been held on the Hong Kong Island in late 1998 to publicize the training programme, distribute leaflets and facilitate walk-in retrainees, which have attracted 150 retrainees to take on the courses. Moreover, domestic helpers training will be highlighted in the forthcoming "Retraining and Employment Expo" to be held in March 1999.
- The ERB has maintained close liaison with concerned government departments, e.g. Labour Department, Social Welfare Department, to provide retraining and job matching services to the unemployed and CSSA recipients.
|D.||Promoting further education|
|17.||Expanding the capacity of taught post-graduate(TPg) courses at the institutions funded by the University Grants Committee (UGC)|
- Five UGC-funded institutions have over-enrolled about 460 students in their TPg programmes in the 1998/99 academic year.
18 Extending the Non-Means-Tested Loan Scheme to benefit some 61,000 additional tertiary students
- Proposal approved by the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council on 17 July 1998.
- Since implementation on 28 September 1998, 1, 664 applications have been approved and $37.6 million has been disbursed. The average loan amount is $22, 600.
|19.||Increase the number of Secondary 5 places in Government evening schools by up to an additional 1000 places as from September 1998, depending on the actual demand|
- Classes commenced on 16 September 1998.
- Education Department is operating 25 classes of Secondary 5 in five school premises to provide 1,000 additional places.
|E.||Tightening measures to combat illegal employment
|20.||Amend the Immigration Ordinance to hold construction site controllers criminally liable if persons not lawfully employable, including two-way permit holders, breach their condition of stay by taking up employment on construction sites.
- The Immigration (Amendment)(No. 2) Bill 1998 was passed by the Legislative Council on 27 January 1999. The Ordinance was gazetted on 5 February 1999 and has taken effect from 12 February 1999.
- In the meantime, Immigration Department will continue with its vigorous enforcement efforts such as conducting large-scale operations, and the Labour Department will conduct more inspections at workplaces to clamp down on illegal employment more effectively and efficiently.
4.In addition to the above measures, the Government announced on 22 June 1998 a package of special relief measures to boost the economy, i.e. between the first two meetings of the Task Force. A summary of these measures and their latest progress is as follows:
The Way Forward
|A||Easing the Credit and Liquidity Crunch
|1.||Exempt from 22 June 1998 profits tax interest income earned from deposits placed locally with authorised banking institutions
- Effective from 22 June 1998.
|2.||Provide HK$2.5 billion to help small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to obtain loans from lending institutions|
- The Finance Committee of the Legislative Council on 31 July 1998 approved a commitment of $2.5 billion for the setting up of a Special Finance Scheme for Small and Medium Enterprises. The Scheme was launched on 24 August 1998.
- As of 10 February 1999, a total of 1,004 applications has been referred to the Government by participating lending institutions. With the exception of 13 applications which have been withdrawn by the applicants, all of the applications have been approved. The cumulative amounts of guarantee approved and the loan involved are about $634 million and $1,292 million respectively. The Government is currently conducting a comprehensive review of the Scheme. The aim of the review is to assess the feedback of the Scheme; whether the Scheme has met its objective of assisting SMEs to obtain financing; and whether and how improvements should be made. It is expected that the review could be completed in early 1999.
|B.||Stabilising property prices|
|3.||Suspend all land sales by auction and public tender till 31 March 1999|
- Suspension to take effect from 22 June, 1998.
- Land sales to resume from April 1999 after review.
|4.||Double the allocation for "Home Starter Loan Scheme" in 1998-99 from $3.6 billion to $7.2 billion so that twice the number of households (i.e. from 6,000 to 12,000) will be able to become home owners |
- The Finance Committee (FC) of the Legislative Council approved the proposal on 31 July, 1998.
|5.||The Housing Authority to consider increasing the quota for the "Home Purchase Loan Scheme" from 4,500 to 10,000 in 1998-99.
- The Housing Authority approved on 23 July 1998 the increase of quota from 4,500 to 10,000 for the next 12 months up to July 1999.
|C.||Easing costs of families and business
|6.||Reduce duty on diesel by 30% from 23 June 1998 to March 31 1999|
- Taken effect on 23 June, 1998
|7.||Reduce declaration charge for imports from 0.035% to 0.025% and for domestic exports from 0.05% to 0.025%
- Taken effect on 1 August, 1998.
|8.||Rebate the first quarter rates paid in 1998-99|
- The rebate will be credited against the October to December 1998 quarterly rates bill if there has been no change in ratepayers since April 1998. For other cases, a refund of the rates paid will be arranged as soon as the ratepayers
- status is clarified.
|D||Sharing the economic difficulty of the community
|9||Freeze salaries adjustment of D3 officers and above in the civil service, Government-subvented organisations, the Judiciary, and the ICAC whose salary adjustments follow exactly those in the civil service.
- Taken effect on 1 April, 1998.
5. The Government will continue to work closely with members of the Task Force on Employment, employers, employees, training institutions, legislators and all concerned parties to draw up effective and appropriate measures to identify additional job and training opportunities with a view to helping the unemployed rejoin the workforce as soon as possible and sustain their employability in the longer term.
Education and Manpower Bureau
New value-added employment services
launched by the Labour Department
This paper sets out details of the new value-added employment services launched by the Labour Department in 1999.
2. In 1998, the Task Force on Employment introduced a package of new initiatives to, among others, enhance the employment services provided by the Labour Department. The Local Employment Service of the department continues to enhance its services beyond 1998. A package of new arrangements and facilities incorporating new technology, targeted measures, personalised and value-added services have either recently been introduced or will come on stream over the next few months. These enhancements seek to provide an employment service that is simple, modern and responsive - one that can take care of the needs of all sectors of job seekers as well as employers under a customer-oriented culture.
3. The package of new services comprises:
(1) Intensive publicity of job vacancies through radio broadcast
As from 1.2.99, selected vacancy information has been broadcast on RTHK's Radio 1, 5 and Putonghua channels twice a day, five days a week, in two-minute segments each for the benefit of job seekers. The programme, entitled
, will run on trial basis for 2 months initially with effect from February 1999.
(2) Easy Registration procedure
The new arrangement was introduced on 8.2.1999 at all LES offices. It serves to ensure that first-time registrants are attended to even at the busiest periods of the day. Registrants will simply need to spend a few minutes filling in a Registration Form on arrival at the LES office, after which they can use the newly launched Telephone Employment Service in the comfort of their home on the following working day. The arrangement will save time queuing up at LES offices for a chit.
(3) Job Vacancy Processing Centre
To streamline the processing of vacancy information so as to enhance the quality and efficiency of services provided to employers, officers from various LES offices are deployed internally to form the Job Vacancy Processing Centre. The Centre processes vacancy orders centrally, following standardized vetting guidelines and disseminates vacancy information to all LES offices through computer network.
The Opening Ceremony of the centre was held on 11.2.1999. The centre offers a simplified and speedy service for employers seeking staff, and processes vacancy orders centrally through one Recruitment Hotline. Vacancy information from employers will be displayed at district LES offices within 24 hours and posted on the Labour Department's Employment Services website the following day.
(4) Telephone Employment Service Centre
To tackle high unemployment, the Labour Department has, on a trial basis, provided job-seekers with a telephone referral service as from 6.7.1998 at all its 10 LES offices. To centralize this new mode of service, a Telephone Employment Service Centre is set up in North Point. The Opening Ceremony of the centre, which is housed under one roof with the Job Vacancy Processing Centre, was held on 11.2.1999. With 18 telephone lines, the Centre offers speedy and convenient service to job-seekers who could, instead of visiting one of the LES branch offices, obtain job referrals by telephone.
(5) Interactive Employment Services on the Web
The LES will shortly launch an interactive employment service on the web as part of the Interactive Government Services Directory Project co-ordinated by the Information Technology and Broadcasting Bureau. The project will apply the latest web technology to enable job hunting and staff recruitment on the Internet 24 hours a day. Starting from early March 99, the Employment Services website of the Labour Department will feature information of registered job seekers as well as vacancies. Specially designed search engines will provide job-seekers with personalized job matching service, and disseminate candidates' profiles to enhance their employability. On the other hand, the web service will provide employers with automatic job-based matching, and assist them to shortlist suitable candidates through the Internet.
(6) One-stop district-based service for domestic helper vacancies
There is wide concern from different sectors in the community that the government should take the lead to promote employment opportunities for local job-seekers to take up domestic helper posts. To serve this potential employment market, the LES has since 8.2.99 set up a special corner and appoint a designated placement officer in each of the branch offices to assist job-seekers looking for employment as domestic helpers. The officer is acquainted with the market situation of domestic helper posts, particularly those in the neighborhood. Referrals will be arranged on a district basis as far as possible to save workers the trouble of commuting. Depending on the needs, job-seekers would be referred to relevant re-training courses organized by the Employees Retraining Board or its associated training bodies. With effect from 16.3.99, all LES offices will organise a "Domestic Helper Talk" at 3 pm on every Tuesday and Thursday. The talk will cover various aspects of job hunting skills, and will assist job-seekers in getting market information.
(7) Publication of Reference Materials on Job Hunting Skill
Leaflets on job hunting skills, such as interview techniques, will be distributed to job seekers to enhance their chances of securing a job as soon as possible.
(8) Enhanced Labour Department's General Enquiry Telephone Service
To provide better services to members of the public and to enable them to have easier access to Vacancy Order Forms as well as other information on labour legislation and services, the Labour Department is undertaking a project to upgrade the department's General Enquiry Telephone Service (GETS) (2717 1771) into an Intelligent Call Centre with the latest computer telephony integration technology. The new centre is expected to come into operation in mid 1999, with a total of 130 telephone and fax lines, as compared with 58 lines under GETS.
Retraining and job matching for local domestic helpers
This paper sets out a series of the latest enhancement efforts of the Labour Department (LD) and the Employees Retraining Board (ERB) to provide employment services and retraining for local domestic helpers.
2. A total of 3,665 job vacancies (2.6% out of all vacancies registered) for domestic helpers were received by the Local Employment Service (LES) of the LD in 1998. Amongst these vacancies, 58.1% were part-time posts. The salary offered was about $6,000 for full-time posts and $4,000 for part-time posts. 269 live vacancies for domestic helper were registered at the LES as at the end of January 1999. Correspondingly, in 1998, 3,059 persons (1.6% of all job-seekers) registered with the LES looking for jobs as domestic helpers. 1,134 persons were successfully placed as domestic helpers. The placement rate was 37%.
3. On another front, since the setting up of a centrally managed telephone hotline and a "One-Stop Service Unit" (which serves as the central co-ordinating and referral agency for employers and employees, with particular focus on domestic helpers jobs) mid last year, the ERB has received over 5,600 enquiries about and 2,100 vacancies in domestic helper jobs . About 80% of the job vacancies received are part-time jobs of which 40% offer work on the Hong Kong Island. Together with the placement efforts of training bodies, the ERB as a whole received some 5,700 job vacancies on domestic helpers and placed 2,105 retrainees into such jobs, representing about 37% fill-up rate of the vacancies.
4. The ERB has expanded its training capacity in domestic helper in recent years. In 1997, 1,613 retrainees had completed domestic helper training. In 1998, the number had increased to 3,738, representing an increase of some 130%. The average job placement rate (for April - September 1998) is 74%.
Enhanced measures to strengthen employment services and retraining for domestic helpers
5. As the demand for local domestic workers and the interest among local workers to take up such posts have both risen (the job vacancies received by the ERB and the LD have been increasing), the LD and ERB have introduced a number of new initiatives to further enhance their employment and retraining services for local workers in this respect.
The Labour Department
6. The Labour Department has revamped its employment services for local job-seekers looking for domestic help jobs. These latest initiatives include -
- The LES has adopted a proactive approach by reaching out and promoting its special service to all potential employers of domestic helpers (including the mailing of leaflets for introducing LES for domestic helpers in large housing estates) with a view to soliciting more job vacancies.
With the establishment of the new Job Vacancy Processing Centre, potential employers will have to dial only one number in order to have information on their domestic helper vacancies disseminated to all LES offices promptly.
The LD will share vacancy information with the ERB for job referral purpose.
- A special service counter has been set up in all 10 LES offices to provide enhanced job-matching services for local job-seekers looking for domestic helper posts. These job-seekers will be served by a Placement Consultant specialising in the field of local domestic helpers, who is very familiar with the market situation for domestic helper especially job vacancy in the neighbourhood. The Consultant will seek to arrange referrals for jobs within the same district to save workers the trouble of commuting, and may also refer the job-seekers to training bodies funded by the ERB for retraining depending on their need.
With the establishment of the new Telephone Employment Service Centre, job-seekers do not have to queue up at LES offices but may gain access to information on job vacancies available in their districts over the phone.
- The LD will step up its efforts in publicising its employment services so as to attract more employers and job-seekers to register with them. With effect from 16 March 1999, all LES offices will organise two "Domestic Helper Talks" every week to teach job-seekers job hunting skills as well as provide market information etc. A new brochure will be produced to publicise the service to job-seekers and employers. Other promotional activities including recruitment seminars, exhibitions, etc. to attract more clients to use the service will also be organised.
7. As a result of its increased publicity and other enhanced efforts, the LD was able to get 21% more job vacancies for domestic helper in the second half year of 1998 as compared to the first six months of the year. The number is expected to rise with the series of new measures to be put in place in the next couple of months.
Employees Retraining Board
8. The ERB has also taken a number of initiatives to enhance its retraining-cum-job matching services on domestic helper. These initiatives include -
Strengthen Partnership with the Labour Department
- The ERB has made efforts to increase the number of training bodies providing retraining on domestic helper as well as the number of such classes over the last year to meet market demand. As a result, there are now 16 training bodies running domestic helpers training and the total number of graduate retrainees increased by 130% over last year.
To cope with the large demand for domestic helper particularly on Hong Kong Island, the number of training centres on the Island will be increased dramatically from four to eight in the next few months. The supply of retrainees on the Hong Kong Island will be increased in the near future to meet the unfulfilled demand in the vicinity, thereby reducing or elminating the mismatch.
- In order to enhance the quality of training and its status, the ERB has set up Course Steering Groups on domestic helpers (which comprise representatives from training bodies) to review the existing training programme. It aims to identify the essential components of the programme for common assessment and quality assurance and to develop a modular structure of the course for more efficient and effective delivery of training. It has identified core modules on household cleansing, soft skills, communication techniques and other related modules on elderly care, child-minding, cookery and so forth. In this connection, the ERB has approached the Hotel Industry Training Centre of Vocational Training Council, the Hong Kong Hotels Association and related trade association to secure practical facilities and training opportunities in housekeeping and/or cooking. It is expected to complete the restructuring exercise within six months. In so doing, the trained domestic helpers will be accorded with the professional status, and may further pursue their career in the hotel industry should the tourism industry become buoyant again.
- Apart from the enhancement of the training programme, training bodies have strengthened their placement efforts in matching retrainees of domestic helpers programmes with available job vacancies. Most of the training bodies providing such training are maintaining a central register of both trainees available for placement and employers in need of domestic helpers in order to facilitate job matching. Some of them, such as the Hong Kong Young Women's Christian Association, classify all the available vacancies in terms of working hours and working locations so that a full-time "job package" comprising different part-time jobs within the proximity can be referred to retrainees. This helps save the time and traveling expenses of retrainees who would like to take up more than one part-time job at the same time. Some training bodies have developed computer software to facilitate job matching.
Retrainees are also grouped together to work as "professional household cleansing teams" to undertake special cleaning projects for households, e.g. New Year's Eve's cleaning.
- It is important to improve the public image on domestic helpers jobs and related retraining programme. Extensive publicity and promotion activities are being launched through the media including TV and the press. Publicity leaflets are issued to both employers and employees, with focus on the modernised training and placement service offered by training bodies. Announcements of Public Interest on retraining for domestic helpers have been featuring on television and radio since October 1998.
In view of the large demand for domestic helpers on the Hong Kong Island, special promotional campaigns including mini-exhibitions and road shows have been conducted in late 1998 by the four training bodies running domestic helpers training on island side. The campaigns achieved fruitful results, attracting some 150 retrainees to take on the courses, representing an increase of 95% for the figure before the promotional efforts. In the forthcoming "Retraining and Employment Expo" to be held in March, domestic helpers training will be one of the highlights of the ERB to further publicise the programme.
9. The ERB and LD maintain close liaison with each other on referrals on domestic helper vacancies as well as other fronts for co-operation. They will continue to strengthen their co-operation in the future in order to provide better services to job-seekers and retrainees in the field.
Education and Manpower Bureau