14pc jump in official job vacancies

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 June, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 June, 2006, 12:00am

Thousands at recruitment fair with 40 companies taking part

About 41,000 jobs were available through the Labour Department last month, 14 per cent more than for the same period last year.

Release of the latest figure came as nearly 10,000 people flocked to a government-organised job fair at the Central Library in Causeway Bay, where more than 2,000 vacancies were on offer.

An employment adviser with the Labour Department, Fronde Lui Wai-fong, said the job market continued to improve because companies needed more staff to expand.

'The mobility of employees is also growing, with people changing jobs more frequently as the economy bounces back,' she said.

Forty companies were recruiting staff at the job fair, including those from the retail sector, catering industry, property management and beauty services.

Of the positions on offer, 800 were open to job seekers with no relevant experience. Most positions offered monthly salaries ranging from $5,000 to $10,000, and Ms Lui said salary levels had remained steady when compared with last year.

The highest-paid job offered at the fair was a beauty consultant's position paying $20,000 a month.

Irene Cheung, human resources director of beauty services company Ingrid Millet, which offered this job, said job seekers' response to vacancies offered by her company had been very positive.

She believed the company could employ more than 20 people from the job fair, a number that exceeded her expectations. 'Many fresh graduates who are interested in the beauty industry attend the fair. It is a good chance to absorb new blood for the company and the industry,' she said.

But despite the optimism of government officials and employers at the fair, job seekers had mixed views.

Form Five graduate Eric Lo Yuk-shing, 17, who queued up for 30 minutes to gain admission, said he was not optimistic. 'There are too many secondary school graduates looking for the summer jobs after the public examinations. Despite the improving job market, the competition for low-skilled jobs is still very intense,' he said.

Mr Lun, 51, a former security guard who declined to give his full name, said the vacancies on offer were too diversified.

'Middle-aged people like me will look for vacancies for security guards, while the young tend to choose retailing and catering jobs. The Labour Department should stage the job fair with clearer targets,' he said.