Help for 'neglected' job-seekers

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 15 December, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 15 December, 2002, 12:00am

Unemployed middle-ranking managers and professionals form a 'sandwich class' with little access to job-seeking help, according to a charity set up to address the problem.

The Getting Back to Work Foundation estimates 160,000 of Hong Kong's 267,000 unemployed belong to this sandwich class - too specialised or senior for Labour Department programmes, and too junior for generous golden goodbyes and outplacement.

'For people in between there's very little in Hong Kong,' says foundation manager, Ralph Leonard, himself acting as a volunteer while unemployed.

'With the sandwich class, many already have mortgages which they have to keep on paying. They're under great pressure.'

The foundation plans to start running seminars next year on subjects such as maintaining self-esteem, managing money, interview preparation and networking.

Materials from the seminars will be posted on the group's Web site

The foundation will also encourage people from similar fields to form independent job-seeking clubs to support each other and share tips and networks.

The group is the brainchild of a group of people in the human resources industry after a one-off seminar earlier this year.

Organisers plan to hold their first seminar next month and are currently lining up volunteer speakers and venues that can be offered for use free of charge.