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SLW visits Job Fair for Middle-aged and Elderly Employment (with photos)

     The Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, visited the Job Fair for Middle-aged and Elderly Employment organised for the first time by the Labour Department this afternoon (September 10) to gauge the views of participating organisations and job seekers.

     With a theme of "Middle-aged and Elderly Employment", the large-scale job fair at Lok Fu Plaza aimed to promote employment opportunities for mature job seekers. Mr Cheung chatted with participating employers to learn about job seekers' response to the on-the-spot recruitment. He said he was pleased to know that many employers had been keeping abreast of the needs of mature job seekers by offering vacancies with shorter working hours and more flexible work patterns.

     Mr Cheung pointed out that unleashing the potential of the local labour force is of prime importance in the light of an ageing society, which would see the labour force dropping from 3.7 million in 2018 to 3.5 million in 2035. This includes the need to attract the middle-aged or early retirees to return to the job market. Mr Cheung noted that according to a survey conducted by the Census and Statistics Department in 2011, 5 per cent of early retirees aged between 50 and 64 indicated they would work if given suitable employment opportunities.

     "To encourage employers to provide more suitable employment opportunities to the middle-aged and the elderly, the Labour Department's Employment Programme for the Middle-aged (EPM) has been extended to cover part-time permanent jobs (i.e. working 18 hours to less than 30 hours per week). Upon completion of on-the-job training by eligible employees under the EPM, employers may apply for a training allowance of up to $3,000 per month per employee, for a period of three to six months," Mr Cheung said.

     "The Labour Department will also continue to encourage employers, through various promotional and educational activities, to actively adopt employment practices conducive to fostering an elderly-friendly work environment, thereby attracting more early retirees to remain in or return to the job market," he added.

     A total of 15 organisations participated in today's job fair, offering about 1 200 vacancies suitable for middle-aged and elderly job seekers. Around 43 per cent of the vacancies are full-time jobs, while the remaining 57 per cent are part-time jobs.

Ends/Thursday, September 10, 2015
Issued at HKT 17:25


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