Unemployed women in the territory are to join forces in a pilot project to compete for jobs occupied by foreign domestic workers. The self-help project will start next month with a $200,000 grant from Oxfam Hong Kong. The Housing Authority will provide a 1,500 square foot centre in Kwun Tong as a headquarters at a monthly rental of $4,000. The Hong Kong Women Workers' Association, running the project, said it would apply for government funds to extend the scheme to other community centres. Co-ordinator of the association, Linda To Kit-lai, said a number of co-operatives would be formed to provide services ranging from catering to child care at competitive rates. The women, most of them aged over 30, would receive training in the techniques of running the co-operatives, conducting market research and job-matching. Training courses for work-related skills would be organised at a later stage. 'Household services like cleaning and child care are likely to be the first of the services the co-operatives will provide,' said Miss To. 'The women will discuss among themselves how the income from the 'business' should be allocated. Part of the money would be contributed to keep the co-operatives running.' Miss To said the project meant the women would be workers and managers. 'We hope that this will be a fresh start for those women who have been out of work for a long time,' she said. Despite the availability of foreign domestic helpers, Miss To said local women were in a better position to get a household job. 'They are more flexible in working hours and the employers don't need to provide them with accommodation,' she said.