Officials have proposed a $36 million fund to help welfare recipients, particularly single parents, low-income earners and the unemployed, find jobs. The Intensive Employment Assistance Fund, to begin this year if adopted, aims to provide employment assistance, retraining, counselling and placement services to recipients of the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance scheme. It would last three years. The programmes would be run by non-government organisations, and 6,000 CSSA recipients are expected to benefit each year. But unionist Lee Cheuk-yan said the money should be spent directly on jobless recipients. He opposed spending $15.6 million to recruit staff to run the scheme. 'Recipients only earn around $5,000 a month even after retraining,' he said. 'The money should be given to them directly. They need to travel to look for jobs. A job-seeking subsidy should be given to the unemployed CSSA recipients directly for them to buy good clothes, have a haircut and pay for transport for job interviews.' Speaking at the welfare services panel, Deputy Director of Social Welfare Marion Lai Chan Chi-kuen said most CSSA recipients had a low academic level and their ability to seek jobs was not high. She believed the proposed measures could help them find jobs in the long run.