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  • Dec 26, 2014
  • Updated: 7:16pm
NewsHong Kong
IMMIGRATION

More than half of all one-way Mainland migrants are jobless in Hong Kong

Leaked government document adds 9 out of 10 arrivals from mainland on permits since 1997 who did enter workforce have low-skill jobs

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 October, 2013, 4:53am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 October, 2013, 10:43am

More than half of all one-way permit arrivals from the mainland remain outside the city's workforce.

That's according to a draft government document prepared ahead of a public consultation on population and immigration issues due to be launched tomorrow.

About 760,000 mainlanders have settled in Hong Kong through the one-way permit scheme since the handover in 1997, making up more than one in 10 residents.

The document states that only 48 per cent of those new arrivals have entered the job market, compared with 58 per cent of locals over the same time period.

The Post was shown the draft document by a source close to the public consultation exercise, who asked not to be named.

A partial explanation for the phenomenon is the large number of female one-way permit holders reuniting with their local husbands as housewives.

Of those permit holders who did find jobs, 87 per cent are engaged in lower-skilled work.

"If properly trained, this specific group may replenish our labour force, in particular on the lower-skilled spectrum. Gainful employment can also facilitate their integration into society," the draft document reads.

The public consultation is designed to help the government's steering committee on population policy find ways to build a socially inclusive and cohesive society. In particular, the committee will look into ways to help groups with special needs, such as one-way permit holders, children of non-locals born in Hong Kong and ethnic minorities.

Tsang Koon-wing of the Mainland-Hong Kong Families Rights Association said there are limited services available for the needs of new mainland arrivals.

"All they need is a platform to help them be useful to society," he said. "Their qualifications obtained on the mainland are not recognised in Hong Kong, which puts them into many lower-skilled jobs in security, construction and the elderly care sector."

The document also floats the idea of increasing education services for the 200,000 children that were born to non-locals in Hong Kong before the introduction of the "zero delivery quota" policy earlier this year.

The government expects that half of those 200,000 will return to Hong Kong to seek education before the age of 21.

As the non-Chinese population rose by 31 per cent in the 10 years to mid-2011, to 450,000, the document also suggests Hong Kong-born members of this group should be helped to communicate in Chinese so as to promote their upward social mobility and improve social engagement.

 

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6

This article is now closed to comments

sydmel
More than 1 out of 10 residents in Hong Kong now are one-way permit migrants from the mainland after the handover, and many of them are low-skilled and poorly educated. This is truly a major reason behind escalating social poverty problems and deterioriating populace quality. More resources and opportunities for these migrants and their children are required to assimilate them into the Hong Kong society (instead of fragmenting and destablizing the Lion-Rock spirit society), calling for review of immigration policy is a must. Otherwise, it will be a mission impossible to accomodate unlimited influx from the mainland.
johnyuan
No policy can be honestly and validly made without facts. In the housing shortage crises, true state of migration with figures must be collected and evaluated. Hong Kong people must also know those figures to play a fair game on any proposed government policy.
.........
SCMP, as a news agent it has the obligation to serve the society and readers to ensure those figures are available and accurate.
321manu
This certainly puts to rest some of the suggestions made in related threads elsewhere, such as these newcomers substantially contributing to the tax-base, or that these folks as a group represented highly skilled and educated individuals. It appears reality is completely opposite to those rosy views. That said, more complete demographic information with regards to the newcomers would be nice, so as to establish whether today's newcomers resemble those early newcomers from 1997. Nonetheless, this current article makes it more incumbent than ever for HKers to devise a feasible plan moving forward, both with respect to who and how many are actually accepted in the future. Otherwise, the situation wrt housing, social services, and other aspects of HK society will become untenable long before 2047 rolls around. Maybe it won't be 150 a day. Whatever the number is, HK should have veto power and accept the best and brightest. No more great uncles thrice removed; only immediate family members need apply. But the status quo ain't going to fly.
lamlm38
"All they need is a platform to help them be useful to society," he said. "Their qualifications obtained on the mainland are not recognised in Hong Kong, which puts them into many lower-skilled jobs in security, construction and the elderly care sector.".. it's so said that this is still very much the reality after so many yrs (30+).. When my parents brought me to HK in 1977 they were highly skilled Metallurgy engineer and Chemist yet they could not find any jobs because their degrees were not recognized..
caractacus
The generally poor level of educational and skills of mainland migrants shows at least one clear cause for the logistical problems caused in public services such as housing, health care, education and welfare.
The employment statistics, however, may be misleading. You do not state if the figures include men and women in the same family, whether or not they have children or other dependants such as the elderly, or other circumstances which may affect the rate of employment.
Also, how do these statistics compare to the rate of employment in the work force born in Hong Kong?
Overall, it cannot be in the long term interests of any city to import large very numbers of unskilled people with only elementary education.
A large pool of unemployed labour only serves to depress the level of unskilled wages which, whilst welcomed by unscrupulous employers, is unfair to the lower paid in our society and perpetuates the growing wealth gap.
johnyuan
Dislke,
Let me rewrite my post to your liking --
.....
All policies can be deceptively and wrongly made without facts. In the housing shortage crises, true state of migration with figures must not be collected and evaluated. Hong Kong people must not know those figures to play a fair game on any proposed government policy.
.........
SCMP, as a news agent it has no obligation to serve the society and readers to ensure those figures are available and accurate.
........
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