Government responds actively to Tin Shui Wai residents' aspirations

     The Government attached great importance to Tin Shui Wai and had implemented a series of measures to meet residents' aspirations and improve their livelihood in the past year, the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, said this afternoon (December 14) at Ripples Action's Christmas Celebration in the district.

     Noting that employment was the foundation of people's livelihoods, an issue close to his heart, Mr Cheung said that a large-scale job fair would be staged by the Labour Department at Tin Yiu Community Centre on January 5 and 6, 2009, to provide more job opportunities and choices for residents.

     He said that the Labour Department had held four large-scale job fairs and three others for the youths in the district this year, attracting more than 7,600 and 6,500 job-seekers respectively. The job centre in Yuen Long had also organised job fairs of smaller scale from time to time to enhance support for local residents.

     "At the same time, the Hong Kong Jockey Club Telebet and Volunteers and Training Centre at Tin Hang Estate, which is expected to commence operation later next year, will create 2,500 job opportunities and add economic vitality to the district," he said.

     On training services, Mr Cheung said the Employees Retraining Board would offer 1,000 places to new arrivals and ethnic minorities through the Employment Set Sail Training Courses in Tin Shui Wai, Sham Shui Po and West Kowloon. The Vocational Training Council would also establish a youth college in Tin Shui Wai and provide 2,000 pre-employment training places every year. The first batch of courses is planned to start in early 2009.

     Mr Cheung said special attention had been given to Tin Shui Wai in many of the Government's programmes. For example, as at the end of November, about 7,000 Tin Shui Wai residents had benefitted from the Transport Support Scheme expanded in July; of the latest batch of Community Investment and Inclusion Fund projects, 21 were to be carried out in Tin Shui Wai, benefitting more than 12,000 families; and 100 of the 750 children included in the pioneer projects of the Child Development Fund were from Tin Shui Wai.

     Regarding community facilities, Mr Cheung said that the Government had decided to grant the land in Area 115 to the Hong Kong Housing Society to develop the first integrated elderly community project in Hong Kong. It was expected to begin construction in 2010.

     He also said that the building of a hospital in Tin Shui Wai was expected to start in 2011 and be completed by 2015. The Social Welfare Department would also establish an integrated community service centre in Tin Chak Estate in the first quarter of 2009 to provide mental care and community support services for local residents.
     Mr Cheung thanked Ripples Action for responding actively to the Government's call to care for the well-being of Tin Shui Wai residents by organising the Christmas celebration in the district.

Ends/Sunday, December 14, 2008
Issued at HKT 15:15