Youths tempted to work illegally

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 December, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 01 December, 1999, 12:00am

Up to 15 per cent of young people have considered selling pirated compact discs or smuggled cigarettes or hawking illegally to help their parents out during the economic slump.

Of 400 youngsters aged 12 to 18 from Shamshuipo polled by the Boys' and Girls' Clubs Association, 46.8 per cent said they had thought of taking up part-time or full-time jobs to ease their parents' burden.

Selling pirated CDs, untaxed cigarettes or diesel, hawking illegally and working as underage singers at karaoke bars were considered by about 15 per cent of the youngsters.

Around 8.8 per cent of them said they might leave school to work, although 86.3 per cent believed further education would guarantee a better future.

More than half the respondents - 215 - worried about members of their family being laid off, while almost 40 per cent had experienced a reduction in their household income.

About 30 per cent said there had been more quarrels between their parents.

Half the quarrels related to unemployment, according to the study conducted in September and October. Shamshuipo was chosen because it was a low-income district.

About 33.8 per cent of the families of the polled youngsters had a household income of $13,000 or less. Around 5.3 per cent were on unemployment benefit.

The association is urging the Government to provide more employment counselling to help young people to find suitable jobs.