Retirees on course for new vocations

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 March, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 21 March, 1994, 12:00am

CLEANING soft drink fridges and refilling store shelves are hardly the things Li Lai-so, 55, and Pang So, 58, expected to be doing at their age, but they are happy to be useful.

This is especially important for Ms Li, who has a mainland degree in education, in her bid to regain self-confidence after retiring two years ago.

Ms Li and Mr Pang are among 55 participants in a ground-breaking programme for the elderly run by the Employees' Retraining Board.

Having attended one week of the three-week course, the pair said they had changed their attitude to jobs like shop assistants and were ready for the challenges.

Ms Li, who earned her degree three decades ago, said she had difficulty finding a job after retiring as a factory worker.

She said: ''The course has helped me to regain self-confidence and learn to communicate. Most importantly, it finds a suitable employer who agrees to offer me a job.'' Mr Pang agreed, saying that the course made him realise he was still physically able to handle a job.

Mr Pang, who was a technician working on ship repairs, said: ''I didn't recognise I was suitable for a job which deals with many people.'' The course, entitled Convenience Talent, is supported by two major convenience store chains, Circle K and 7-Eleven, who promise conditional job offers to the trainees.

Graduates are given a confirmed job offer after attending an interview and showing satisfactory work performance.

The board's executive director, Chow Tung-shan, said: ''The idea came from the concern that it might be difficult for people of special groups to get a job even after completing a retraining programme.''