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The programme is expected to benefit 400 youths, by engaging over 100 local SMEs to offer job opportunities to DSE, post-secondary and university graduates.

Following the overwhelming response from last year, Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) and St. James’ Settlement have announced the second phase of the Futuremakers’ First Job Youth Employment and Subsidy Programme to continue supporting local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to hire fresh graduates.

With the donation of HK$5 million from the Standard Chartered Foundation, the programme will engage over 100 local SMEs to offer job opportunities to DSE, post-secondary and university graduates of the current year, expecting more than 400 young people to benefit.

Enrolled companies will receive half of the wages of each youth hired or up to HK$39,000 for a period of six months. On the other hand, participating youths will receive job-seeking skills and employment training as well as guaranteed interview opportunities within two weeks.

As the gig working model is gaining popularity, this year’s programme includes job opportunities for the 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.

According to a survey conducted by St. James’ Settlement, the majority of the participants from last year agreed that the programme helped improve their job-hunting skills and abilities (88.2%) and expanded their interpersonal networks (80.3%). Three-quarters (75%) of the respondents said that the programme helped them get job referrals.

The participants also said the programme helped boost their confidence in various areas. About 64% of respondents said they understand employment trends better in Hong Kong, 12 percentage points higher when asked prior to the programme.

The programme was first introduced in October 2020 with positive results. About 100 corporates participated and offered over 600 full-time and gig job opportunities. A total of 450 youths received pre-employment training and 145 of them were hired.

Photo / 123RF