Brand New Job-Matching Platform Provides 600+ Jobs Creating New Opportunities for both Youths and SMEs
(Hong Kong, 28th October, 2020) As the Hong Kong economy is severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have low intention to hire or even have to lay-off staff amidst the difficulties. The overall unemployment rate surged to 6.4%, and the unemployment rate among young people aged 20-24 climbed to as high as 20.1%. Meanwhile, according to the statistics of the Joint Institutions Job Information System, the vacancies for graduates have decreased drastically by 40% from a year ago, reflecting the challenges that the young job seekers are facing.
To support youth employment and help SMEs weather the difficult time, St. James’ Settlement and Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited are jointly introducing the “Futuremakers’ First Job” youth employment and subsidy programme, which will offer half-rate subsidy to SMEs in various sectors for providing full-time or short-term job vacancies. Through the brand new job-matching mobile application, the programme will help DSE, post-secondary and university graduates of the current year to land on a suitable job based on their interests and capabilities, so as to enhance youth employability.
Mary Huen, Chief Executive Officer, Hong Kong, at Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited, said: “‘Futuremakers’ First Job’, that we launched jointly with St. James’ Settlement, is one of the first projects introduced by Standard Chartered’s global initiative in supporting economic recovery across different communities. We understand that fresh graduates could be facing a lot of challenges when looking for their first job during the pandemic. Therefore, we hope this programme can provide a total of 400 young job seekers with pre-employment training and job opportunities, by subsidising 100 SMEs to offer over 600 job vacancies, including a lot of ‘gig jobs’. While many corporates are cutting full-time job positions, and increasingly more young people are looking for flexible employment, the programme can help promote the ‘gig economy’ and create a win-win solution.”
Josephine Lee, Chief Executive Officer of St. James’ Settlement, said: “I deeply appreciate Standard Chartered’s generous support of HK$5 million in bringing this programme to life and helping the young people to get employed. No matter whether it is their dream job, ‘the first job’ is particularly important to the graduates as they start learning a proper working attitude and soft skills like communication techniques and teamwork, which will help them better equip themselves for their next job.”
Jimmy Wan, Chairman of Hong Kong Greater China SME Alliance Association, shows great support to the “Futuremakers’ First Job” youth employment and subsidy programme. Over the years, he has worked with many SMEs to provide job internship opportunities for the young people. He believes the programme would help encourage SMEs to continue hiring amidst the pandemic while helping young people to look for jobs, benefitting both sides.
With funding of HK$5 million by the Standard Chartered Foundation, the programme will offer a wage subsidy up to HK$30,000 over a period of 6 months to each enrolled SME for each youth being hired, so as to alleviate employers’ financial burden. In addition, the programme will provide a 3-day pre-employment training to the young job seekers to prepare them for their first job. The programme is now open for applications. Graduates of the current year can visit https://futuremakers.firstjob.hk for more details. Enrolment is on a first-come-first-served basis. For further information, interested local enterprises may call 2596 2777 or e-mail to [email protected].