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Standard Chartered and St. James’ Settlement launch phase-2 of Youth Employment Programme


HK$5 million to subsidise SMEs for hiring recent graduates, Guaranteed job interviews for over 400 youths


(Hong Kong, 28th July 2021) Hiring intention for businesses in Hong Kong has been low and youth employment is severely impacted as the economy is hardly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Following its successful launch in October 2020, Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited (“Standard Chartered Hong Kong”) and St. James’ Settlement are delighted to join hands and introduce the second phase of the programme. The Standard Chartered Foundation will donate HK$5 million to subsidise small and medium enterprises (“SMEs”) to hire recent graduates and over 400 youths are expected to be benefited.


Up to HK$39,000 Wage Subsidies

Over a hundred of local SMEs are expected to participate in the second phase of the programme and offer job opportunities for graduates on the SME job matching platform. Corporates will receive half of the wages of each youth hired or up to HK$39,000 over a 6-month period. Participating youths will also be provided job seeking skills and employment trainings as well as guaranteed interview opportunities within two weeks of the launch of the programme.


Mary Huen, Chief Executive Officer at Standard Chartered Hong Kong, said: “The first phase of the programme was well received with about 100 corporates participating and offering over 600 full-time and gig job opportunities. A total of 450 youths received pre-employment training and 145 of them were hired. By supporting the second phase of the programme, Standard Chartered would like to continue to support SMEs by alleviating their short term wage cost as well as to help youths land their first job and gain valuable working experience during this tough economic times.”

Nearly 90% Participants Improved their Job-hunting Skills

St. James’ Settlement conducted a survey and interviewed the participants of last year to evaluate the programme and understand the employment needs of youths. According to the survey, majority of the respondents agreed that the programme helped improve their job-hunting skills and abilities (88.2%) and expanded their interpersonal networks (80.3%). 75% of the respondents said that the programme helped them get job referral. The participants also said that the programme helped boosted their confidence in various areas. About 64% of respondents said they understand the employment trend in Hong Kong, 12 percentage points higher prior to the programme.

Josephine Lee, Chief Executive Officer of St. James’ Settlement, said: “According to our research, we found that nearly 40% of the participants feared or frustrated about their career prospects. We highly appreciate Standard Chartered Bank for supporting ‘Futuremakers’ First Job Youth Employment and Subsidy Programme’ these 2 years, strengthening graduates’ confidence and enhancing their employability. We are pleased to see that more than 70% of the young people has increased their confidence level towards job-hunting, career planning and identification of career goals after their participation of the first phased programme. We will cooperate with more employers from different industries in the second phase of the programme, encouraging them to provide a greater variety of job opportunities that enables youths to uncover their potentials and improve their career planning.”

Helping SMEs to Understand the “Top 10 Gig Jobs”

As the gig working model, such as temporary job, part-time job and freelance job, has taken off across the globe in recent years, it is also becoming more acceptable among job seekers and corporates in Hong Kong. This year, the programme categorises job opportunities into “Top 10 Gig Jobs”, including content creation, multimedia production, event coordination, editing, and provides recruitment frameworks, such as reference salary, hiring criteria and contract clause, to help SMEs to grasp the key to recruiting.

 Open for Applications Now

“Futuremakers’ First Job Youth Employment and Subsidy Programme” is now open for applications. Interested local SMEs and youth can visit the programme’s website ( for more details. For any enquiries, please call at 2596-2569 or email [email protected].