Tin Shui Wai job fairs 'just for show'

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 April, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 April, 2008, 12:00am

Legislators and residents of Tin Shui Wai have urged the government to create more work in the economically depressed area after a poll found only about a tenth of job seekers received offers at recent fairs there.

In a poll of 218 job seekers surveyed at two fairs in the new town in February, 11 per cent said they had been offered jobs on the spot.

About 56 per cent said they had been told to wait for a response, while 33 per cent were rejected outright.

Lawmaker Lee Cheuk-yan, general secretary of the Confederation of Trade Unions, said: 'The job fairs were just like a show for the government to show it cares for Tin Shui Wai ... But they could not get to the root of the problem.' He said such jobs were useless if they were low-paid and far from town.

The survey, conducted by the Concerning CSSA Review Alliance and a Tin Shui Wai residents' group, found that 58 per cent of the 72 respondents who were rejected outright at the recruitment drive said the jobs advertised were too remote, while 48 per cent said there had been too few jobs available.

Lawmaker Albert Chan Wai-yip, of the League of Social Democrats, called on the government to do more to attract investment and businesses into the new town.

Choi Kam-kui, 58, who lives in Tin Shui Wai with his wife and two daughters, aged 14 and 18, and receives about HK$7,000 a month in Comprehensive Social Security Assistance, said he had been to two recent job fairs but found them useless.

'I want to find a full-time renovation job, but those job fairs mainly offered retailing and catering jobs,' said Mr Choi, who would be happy to give up his allowances if he could earn about HK$9,000 a month.

Over the past few months, the government and other groups have held several job fairs in Tin Shui Wai, partly in response to a series of family tragedies in the town. In October, a mentally ill woman leaped to her death after throwing her two children, aged nine and 12, from their 24th-floor flat in Tin Yiu Estate.