LCQ21: Support for young people
The State President mentioned, when addressing the meeting celebrating the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland, that it was important to give special love and care to young people. Regarding the support for young people, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of (i) the median wages of the young labour force, (ii) the population size of the young working poor and (iii) the wastage of the young labour force, in the past five years (with a breakdown by quarter and industry);
(2) of the population size of young people in poverty in various districts in the past five years;
(3) whether it will conduct a survey on young people's willingness to live in the Mainland cities of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, so as to facilitate the formulation of policies and initiatives to provide them with support; and
(4) whether it has compiled a list of non-profit-making organisations across the territory which provide services to young people; if so, whether it can make available such a list; of the youth programmes subsidised by the Government and rolled out by such organisations in the past two years, and set out, by name of programme, the amount of subsidy received and the number of participants/beneficiaries; whether the Government will formulate key performance indicators in respect of such subsidised programmes?
When the young people thrive, Hong Kong thrives. Young people are the future, hope and pillars of Hong Kong. They are also the engine that drives the long-term development of society and the economy. The Government has all along attached great importance to youth development and strives to assist young people in overcoming the hurdles in education, employment, entrepreneurship and home ownership, and nurture a new generation of Hong Kong young people with an affection for our country and Hong Kong and equipped with global perspectives, an aspiring mindset and positive thinking. Specifically, the Home and Youth Affairs Bureau (HYAB) is co-ordinating the efforts of various policy bureaux to formulate the Youth Development Blueprint (the Blueprint) with a view to setting policy objectives and priorities for youth development. The Blueprint will outline the vision, major guidelines and directions of the work concerned and set out the respective specific actions, initiatives and indicators. Our goal is to complete and promulgate the first edition of the Blueprint by the end of this year and keep the Blueprint's content under constant review and enrichment to ensure that it keeps abreast of the times and addresses the needs of young people promptly. Upon promulgation of the first edition of the Blueprint, the HYAB will drive the efforts of relevant policy bureaux forward to implement the Blueprint's proposed measures under their respective policy purview. The HYAB will also conduct regular monitoring and assessment in relation to the implementation and performance indicators.
As regards the work of poverty alleviation by the current-term Government, the Labour and Welfare Bureau (LWB) adopts the strategy of targeted poverty alleviation by directing resources to those most in need. The Task Force to Lift Underprivileged Students out of Intergenerational Poverty, led by the Chief Secretary for Administration, launched the Strive and Rise Programme in September through tripartite collaboration among the Government, business sector and community. The programme focuses helping 2 800 junior secondary students (particularly those living in sub-divided units) and has been well received by the community.
In addition, the Labour Department implements the Youth Employment and Training Programme and runs youth employment resource centres to provide comprehensive training and employment services for young school leavers. The Chief Executive also announced in the 2022 Policy Address that the Government will regularise the Greater Bay Area Youth Employment Scheme so as to enhance opportunities for university graduates of Hong Kong to pursue their career in the Mainland cities of the Greater Bay Area.
Having consulted the LWB, the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau and the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD), our consolidated reply to the various parts of the question raised by the Hon Luk Chung-hung is as follows:
(1) Based on the results of the General Household Survey conducted by the C&SD, the relevant statistics are provided at Annexes 1 to 3.
(2) The numbers of post-intervention (all selected measures) poor population aged 18-39 by District Council district for 2017-2020 are listed out below.
|District Council district||2017||2018||2019||2020|
|Central and Western||2 600||2 500||2 500||2 700|
|Wan Chai||1 300||1 900||2 100||2 100|
|Eastern||5 300||6 000||4 600||5 300|
|Southern||3 000||2 300||1 600||1 900|
|Yau Tsim Mong||7 000||5 600||7 100||4 600|
|Sham Shui Po||7 800||7 700||4 500||4 200|
|Kowloon City||5 400||5 900||4 500||5 900|
|Wong Tai Sin||6 600||5 200||4 600||4 600|
|Kwun Tong||8 900||9 500||8 300||6 200|
|Kwai Tsing||6 000||6 100||6 900||4 000|
|Tsuen Wan||4 500||4 700||3 900||3 600|
|Tuen Mun||8 300||8 600||8 300||7 200|
|Yuen Long||12 000||10 900||10 000||8 900|
|North||5 900||6 900||5 400||5 000|
|Tai Po||4 600||4 400||4 100||4 700|
|Sha Tin||7 600||7 500||7 700||7 000|
|Sai Kung||5 600||4 400||4 700||4 800|
|Islands||2 200||1 600||2 200||2 600|
|Total||104 700||101 800||92 800||85 200|
1. Figures are rounded to the nearest hundred.
2. Figures in the table may not add up to the total due to rounding.
3. Poor population refer to the persons in the households with household income below the poverty line of the corresponding household size.
4. Post-intervention (all selected measures) income refers to the pre-intervention household income with taxes payable deducted and recurrent cash benefits, non-recurrent cash benefits (including one-off measures) and selected means-tested in-kind benefits (monetised as part of income) included.
Source: General Household Survey, C&SD
(3) The C&SD has conducted a thematic household survey on "willingness to live in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area". The results show that 21.4 per cent and 25.9 per cent of all persons aged 15-24 and 25-34 who had ever thought of staying in places outside Hong Kong in the future were very interested or quite interested in staying (including living, working, studying, etc.) in the Mainland cities of the Greater Bay Area in the future respectively. Among others, 44.2 per cent and 36.1 per cent of all persons aged 15-24 and 25-34 who had ever thought of working or operating business in places outside Hong Kong in the future were very interested/quite interested in working or operating business in the Mainland cities of the Greater Bay Area in the future respectively.
(4) Insofar as the recurrent subvention provided by the Government is concerned, where the welfare services are operated by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and groups, including services for young people, the Social Welfare Department (SWD) provides different types of subvention and subsidy to the NGOs operating welfare services for serving those in need by adopting a "services-based" approach. The SWD allocated subventions amounting to some $2.50 billion and $2.54 billion in 2020-21 and 2021-22 respectively to about 50 NGOs for providing services to young people. The total number of beneficiaries for the two years is about 300 000 and 350 000 respectively. The NGOs operating subvented services should ensure that the services are in compliance with the requirements stipulated by the Government, including the essential service requirements and service output/outcome standards. Meanwhile, the HYAB provides recurrent subventionto youth uniformed groups (UGs) established by the community to support their provision of informal education and training to young people which serves to help them foster positive values, strengthen leadership skills and attain whole-person development. The amount of recurrent subvention (Note 1) provided by the ex-Home Affairs Bureau to the relevant youth UGs in the past two years (i.e. 2020-21 (Note 2) and 2021-22) were $89,630,583 and $86,924,583 respectively. The total sizes of their youth membership (Note 3) were 117 671 persons and 110 463 persons respectively.
The HYAB has signed a Memorandum of Administrative Arrangements with youth UGs receiving recurrent subvention, requiring them to submit annual plans, financial budgets, financial reports, performance indicators, annual reports on youth activities for checking, etc. This is to make sure that public resources are used properly.
Note 1: The above figures included the baseline subvention and the provisions for the Assistance Scheme for Needy Student Members provided by the ex-Home Affairs Bureau.
Note 2: In order to support youth UGs in coping with financial difficulties arising from the COVID-19 epidemic and procuring the necessary anti-epidemic supplies so as to maintain basic operation, the ex-Home Affairs Bureau disbursed an additional one-off subsidy of about $240,000 to each youth UG in 2020-21, totalling about $3 million.
Note 3: The youth membership includes young people aged between 8 and 26.
Ends/Wednesday, November 2, 2022
Issued at HKT 16:22
Issued at HKT 16:22