Employers slam unemployed for lack of flexibility

BOSSES yesterday said job-seekers referred to them by government schemes to help the unemployed were not prepared to adapt.

At a Labour Department forum, personnel managers said many interviewees were not 'mentally prepared' to change their working conditions to suit the vacancies.

Many were not confident in themselves though they were given the jobs, they said.

More than 84,000 people are unemployed although the Government says there are 60,000 vacancies. The department has introduced a job-match programme while an Employee Retraining Board is helping workers to acquire new skills.

Managers from more than 230 companies attended the forum, offering a total of 1,700 jobs.

Commissioner for Labour Stephen Ip Shu-kwan said many people needed to be retrained before entering other industries.

'Job-seekers [referred by the job-matching scheme] are not prepared to make an effort. They do not even understand the nature of the services industry,' human resources director of Giordano Limited, Christine Wong, said.

'They want to choose their working place and time, but this is impossible in our industry.

'Since last year, we have lowered our recruitment requirements but we are still always short of staff. The turnover is extremely high,' Ms Wong said.

Personnel manager of Hong Kong and China Gas Company Yeung Ka-sing was happy with the Employee Retraining Board, but believed it should be more effective.

'It should be more commercially minded and work as if it was a profit-making job referral agency,' he said.

Mr Ip agreed job-seekers should be realistic when finding jobs since unemployed labourers from the manufacturing sector might be forced to enter other industries with lower payments and poorer working conditions. But he believed the job-matching scheme was successful.

'I'm sure that our scheme is a big help for job-seekers,' Mr Ip said.

Mr Yeung hoped the retraining board would co-operate with the job-matching scheme and not refer applicants separately as this would increase the employers' burden.