Centre to help youth business start-ups

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 December, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 December, 2007, 12:00am

A youth employment resource centre that offers help to youngsters who want to start their own businesses opens today.

Youth Employment Start, the first government job centre to target job hunters aged 15 to 29, provides one-stop advisory and support services on employment and self-employment. It has cost about HK$4 million to launch the centre at Langham Place in Mong Kok, and operating costs will top HK$8 million a year.

Target users are present and past trainees of the Youth Pre-employment Training Programme, and the Youth Work Experience and Training Scheme, as well as school leavers, young job seekers, youngsters seeking alternative employment, and the self-employed. There are 12 government job centres in Hong Kong, but they offer services to all ages.

The new centre not only provides information about jobs available in the labour market, it also offers assistance to those who want to be self-employed including providing a conference room for them so they can meet clients.

Byron Ng Kwok-keung, assistant commissioner for labour, said: 'Some young people might not want to have a 9-to-5 office work life, and they might want to start their own business focusing on something they are interested in. We have designed our services in a unique and innovative manner to meet different needs.'

Career assessment, guidance, value-added training and self-employment support are also available.

'We will hold talks and seminars by inviting professionals to come to talk to our job seekers who want to start their own business so that they can learn more about the market before entering the field,' Mr Ng said.

'We will also provide advice on finance, such as how to raise capital and learn things about risk management and investment.'

The centre was one of the projects mapped out in the chief executive's policy address last year.

Another job centre for young people will open in the first quarter of next year in Kwai Fong.