Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
LCQ19: Employment assistance for CSSA recipients

     Following is a question by the Hon Cheung Kwok-che and a written reply by the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, in the Legislative Council today (March 4):


     The Social Welfare Department has commissioned non-governmental organisations to implement the Intensive Employment Assistance Projects (IEAP) to provide appropriate employment assistance services for employable recipients of Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) and near-CSSA recipients, so as to assist them in securing paid jobs as early as possible.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a)  of last year's provision for IEAP;

(b)  of the number of persons who participated in IEAP last year; and

(c)  given that the financial tsunami has caused the number of unemployed persons to rise, whether it will increase the provision for IEAP, so as to assist more CSSA recipients in joining the employment market as soon as possible?



     The Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) Scheme provides a safety net for those who cannot support themselves financially.  It is designed to bring their income up to a prescribed level to meet their basic needs.  Under the CSSA Scheme, the Social Welfare Department (SWD) has implemented the Support for Self-reliance (SFS) Scheme to encourage and assist CSSA able-bodied unemployed recipients or recipients who are not working full-time to secure full-time paid employment and move towards self-reliance.

     To further promote the policies of "From Welfare to Self-reliance" and "Self-reliance", SWD had commissioned non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to run Intensive Employment Assistance Projects (IEAPs) from October 2003 to September 2008, so as to provide personalised employment assistance services for CSSA able-bodied unemployed recipients and near-CSSA recipients, enabling them to remove work barriers, enhance employability and rejoin the labour market.

     My replies to the question are as follows:

(a)  SWD launched the Fourth Batch of IEAPs for two years from October 2006.  The estimated cost of IEAPs for the implementation year from October 2007 to September 2008 was about $30 million.

(b)  A total of 4,181 participants joined the Fourth Batch of IEAPs between October 2007 and September 2008.

(c)  SWD launched the three-year Integrated Employment Assistance Scheme (IEAS) in October 2008. Under IEAS, NGOs have been commissioned to operate 60 employment assistance projects to provide ordinary and intensive employment assistance services for unemployed able-bodied CSSA recipients aged between 15 and 59 so as to assist them to secure full-time paid employment and move towards self-reliance.  All unemployed CSSA recipients will be provided with employment assistance services under IEAS.  Among them, every year 4,000 participants who are assessed by operating NGOs as having greater barriers to work and lacking work experience or job skills will receive intensive employment assistance services to enhance their employability.  On the other hand, the Labour Department (LD) adopts multi-pronged and proactive measures to assist job seekers (including CSSA recipients) to find jobs as efficiently and as early as possible.  Those measures include organising thematic job fairs targeted at industries hard hit by the economic downturn and district-based job fairs at shopping centres or community halls, and disseminating vacancy and employment information through various channels.

Ends/Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Issued at HKT 12:45


Print this page