The Labour Department provides diversified modes of free employment
and recruitment services to job-seekers and employers through a network
of 11 district-based Job Centres (two of which are Employment and Guidance
Centres for New Arrivals), a Telephone Employment Service Centre, a Central
Recruitment Unit and a Job Vacancy Processing Centre. In addition, special
recruitment activities are held regularly to assist job-seekers in finding
jobs and employers in recruiting staff. Job-seekers can make use of facilities
such as vacancy search terminals, telephones, fax machines and computers
with an Internet connection in Job Centres to complete the whole job-hunting
process at one stop. Moreover, employment services are also available
on the Internet round-the-clock through the Interactive Employment Services
(iES) website (http://www.jobs.gov.hk).
During the year, 233 070 job-seekers registered with
the Labour Department, 225 106 vacancies were received and a record high
of 66 100 placements was achieved.
The Re-employment Training Programme for the Middle-aged was launched
in April to assist job-seekers who are aged 40 or above and have been
unemployed for three months or more find jobs. A training allowance of $1,500 per month for each trainee for not more than three months is granted
to employers who engage the middle-aged unemployed and provide them with
The Selective Placement Division of the Labour Department helps people
with a disability integrate into the community through open employment.
It provides a free employment counselling and placement service for the
hearing impaired, sight impaired, physically handicapped, chronically
ill, ex-mentally ill and mentally handicapped. In 2003, the division launched
a series of activities to promote the employment of people with a disability.
It recorded 4 309 job-seekers with a disability and achieved 2 442 placements.
The Employment Agencies Administration of the Labour Department enforces
Part XII of the Employment Ordinance and the Employment Agency Regulations.
It monitors the operation of employment agencies through licensing, inspection
and investigation of complaints. In 2003, it issued 1 393 employment agency
licences, revoked four such licences, refused to renew one licence and
refused to issue two licences.
The External Employment Service of the Labour Department administers
the Contracts for Employment Outside Hong Kong Ordinance to safeguard
the interests of local employees engaged to work outside Hong Kong for
foreign employers. All employment contracts involving manual employees,
or non-manual employees with monthly wages not exceeding $20,000, must
be attested by the Commissioner for Labour.
The Labour Department's Telephone Enquiry Service handles general enquiries
on labour legislation and on services offered by the department. Guided
by an interactive voice processing system, callers can listen to pre-recorded
messages and obtain fax information 24 hours a day by making a selection
from a wide range of topics. The service is supplemented by staff operators
handling more complicated enquiries during office hours. The service handled
1 187 809 calls in 2003.