Hard for ethnic youth to find jobs

Local | Cindy Wan 3 Jul 2018

Ethnic minorities with high academic qualifications face more difficulties when looking for jobs, a study has found.

A total of 172 Pakistani, Nepali and Indian youths filled out questionnaires between January and April in the survey.

Of those canvassed by Lingnan University and the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong Diocesan Pastoral Centre for Workers, 75 were steadily employed or did not have to find a job.

However, of the 97 respondents who sought jobs in the past two years, the unemployment rate was alarming, as 44.7 percent of those with post-secondary education, and 61.1 percent with high school education failed to find work.

In comparison, among those who possessed lower qualifications, only 18.7 percent of respondents with junior secondary education and 16.6 percent with primary education were unemployed.

Head researcher Lisa Leung Yuk-ming said highly educated ethnic minority youths can't fill white collar positions since they're unable to speak and write Chinese.

The research team also discovered that since the 1997 handover, an increasing number of employers require employees to speak or read Chinese.

In addition, many of the training courses provided are only conducted in Chinese.

Meanwhile, 63 percent of respondents have never used the Labour Department's career services. But more than half of those that did described it as unsatisfactory since the department was unable to aid them in finding a job.

Given the worrying results, Labour Party lawmaker Fernando Cheung Chiu-hung has called on the government to allocate HK$200 million of the promised HK$500 million from the 2018-19 financial budget to NGOs to help ethnic minorities secure employment.

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