'One in 10 young people out of work'

About one in every 10 young people interviewed in a recent survey was jobless.

The Democratic Party telephone poll of 432 people aged between 15 and 29 found 10.4 per cent of respondents were unemployed.

The total included 2.1 per cent who graduated this year.

The survey also found 22.7 per cent of respondents were unable to secure 'long-term or stable' employment.

Party youth policy spokesman Cheung Yin-deng said the poll confirmed the 'extreme severity' of the youth unemployment problem.

'If the Government cannot create more job opportunities, it should at least set up training schemes and assist them in the job searching process,' he said.

Nearly a third of the unemployed respondents said they had been out of work for more than six months, and 35.6 per cent said they had applied for more than 10 jobs.

Mr Cheung said school leavers were the most vulnerable.

'They have low academic qualifications, little self-confidence and no work experience.' he said.

Mr Cheung said the Government should give more money to social groups who could help youths find work.

'Young job seekers need training courses, psychological counselling and job counselling.

'The Government's large-scale programme to provide youngsters with voluntary work will help . . . but there must be more direct assistance.' More than a third of respondents thought the Government's voluntary work programme would do nothing to improve the youth unemployment problem.