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Wednesday, Aug 17, 2022

Most ethnic minorities beset by job woes while language, poverty pose further tests

Most ethnic minorities beset by job woes while language, poverty pose further tests

Over 60 percent of the city's ethnic minorities have either lost their jobs or become underemployed during the fifth Covid-19 wave, a survey conducted by social services group Unison found.
After surveying 937 people who identify as ethnic minorities between March and April, it was revealed that 48.9 percent have become jobless while another 14 percent are underemployed.

The group said the jobless rate among ethnic minorities is 10 times that of the city's general population.

Additionally, more than 43 percent indicated their children need "Chinese language learning support" due to challenges faced during online learning.

Almost 80 percent of families said they were in need of a device or internet connection to cope with online classes.

John Tse Wing-Ling, Unison's executive director, said: "The government must allocate more resources to ensure minority students have the equipment they need for online education."

Many families also reported they are living in poverty and rely on savings to get by. One respondent said: "We are living on savings, but we have no more savings."

The many reports of poverty were alarming given that authorities have spent over HK$800 million during the 2019/20 fiscal year on initiatives aimed at supporting minorities.

The group urged authorities to offer job training for minorities, adding unemployment benefits could be set up for those who were laid off.

It also cited the poor Chinese proficiency and low levels of education among minorities as factors that ultimately contribute to poverty and unemployment.

Therefore, the group stressed the importance of improving online learning resources and educational access for minorities.

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