Inmates to be released seek to line up work at job fair

PUBLISHED : Friday, 05 August, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 05 August, 2011, 12:00am


Inmates close to release attended interviews on Wednesday at the city's first prison job fair.

Any offender due to be freed within three months could line up work for after his or her release.

The first session was held at Pik Uk Prison in Sai Kung, where 23 inmates met job recruiters and employers in advertising, retailing, food and beverage, transport and mechanical engineering. The scheme will cover 21 prisons and involve about 190 prisoners and 26 employers offering up to 243 jobs.

One of the Pik Uk prisoners who took part, Ah Cheong, 44, is close to finishing a two-year sentence.

'I can be talkative, as the employers all know my criminal background,' he said. 'This job fair eliminates any possible embarrassment I might have when I meet recruiters who might ask me about my criminal record.'

Chun Man-tsun has been hiring rehabilitated offenders for his electronic appliance store in Sham Shui Po for two decades and has openings for three salesmen.

'For most ex-prisoners, you don't have to worry about their abilities,' he said. 'They do not have to be very clever. I am only looking for people who have an ambition to work hard.'

The Correctional Services Department and the Merchants Support for Rehabilitated Offenders Committee organised the fair.