CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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Tougher job search for ethnic minorities with better education

HONG KONG (SE): Research conducted by the Pastoral Centre for Workers (Kowloon) showed that ethnic minorities with higher qualifications face more difficulties when searching for jobs. The findings were released on July 2.
The research, done in cooperation with the associate professor of the department of Cultural Studies, Lisa Leung Yuk-ming, looked into the employment situations of a total of 172 ethnic minority people who were invited to fill in questionnaires. Twenty-three of them were interviewed in detail. 
The research showed that interviewees who finished secondary education have an employment rate of only 34 per cent, which was lower than that of other groups. 
Among those who had applied for jobs in the past two years, the unemployment rate of those who finished primary education was 17  per cent, this went up to 19 per cent for those who finished form three, while the rate for those who completed secondary education reached 62 per cent. 
Interviewees with university degrees had an unemployment rate of 45 per cent.
A 20-year-old who had finished his secondary education shared that he once worked as a part-time baggage handler at the airport. He wanted to look for a job with better prospects but he did not know a way to find out about suitable job vacancies. He then sought help from the pastoral centre which then referred him to a vacancy for a lift maintenance trainee.  
The research team said that employers are unwilling to hire people from ethnic minorities because of bias and a lack of cultural understanding. The group suggested that the Labour Department  take the initiative to contact employers and look into ways to find job opportunities for them based on their qualifications.
The research team said that the Labour Department could offer follow-up services during the period of employment to promote understanding between employees and employers. It also suggested that the department hire people from ethnic minorities as employment officers.

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