Many job seekers ready to accept pay downgrade

Many job seekers at a Labour Department fair offering 2,400 vacancies said they do not mind getting paid less as long as they find work after months of searching.

The two-day Creating New Opportunities Job Fair, open at MacPherson Stadium in Mong Kok until today, has 48 organizations offering monthly salaries ranging from HK$11,000 to HK$19,000. It has so far attracted 638 job seekers, the department said.

A Mr Ho, a 64-year-old security guard for more than 10 years, said he used to earn HK$20,000 but is willing to accept lower pay.

“There’s no choice, I’m old,” he said. “It has come to a point where companies choose me, not me choosing which company to go to.”

His previous contract ended half a month ago and he has applied for 30 jobs with no callback. He also does not mind working longer hours.

“All companies told me to submit my CV, wait and hope luck will come to me, which is different from the past when it was easier to get a job.”

A woman named Nip, 65, said she would like to find a new job that her body can handle as she works long hours as a cleaning lady.

Some companies only offer part-time positions with a salary that is not even enough for her to pay her subdivided flat rental of HK$4,500 a month.

The fair offers positions from industries such as retail, manufacturing and property management. People can also submit online job applications.

About 79 percent are full-time jobs such as shop assistant, clerk, customer service officer, engineer, technician and vehicle detailing trainee.

A woman named Wu, in charge of recruiting for the Perfection Security Co, said not many people were at the fair yesterday morning.

“I only interviewed about 10 people in the morning,” she said, adding not enough people want to join her field, which pays about HK$16,000 a month.

A man named Lo, representing beauty and fitness company Phillip Wain, said it is hoping to hire about 10 beauticians and masseurs since sales have improved along with the epidemic situation.

He said getting vaccinated is not part of the recruitment criteria. “If they don’t get vaccinated, they can do regular testing instead,” he said.

Entry to the fair is free, with the final admission time at 5pm today.

Meanwhile, Sino Group hosted a career day at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on Saturday. It offered about 1,000 positions and attracted more than 3,000 job seekers.

Almost half of them were recent graduates and young people. Sino Group said young people expressed keen interest in job opportunities for sustainability, community affairs and innovative technology.

Elaine Liu, associate director and chief human resources officer of Sino Group, said: “On-site interviews were arranged, with some offers made on the spot. We will process all the resumes that we received in the coming two weeks and will arrange interviews with suitable candidates in due course.”

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