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Employment Symposium calls for fair job opportunities for rehabilitated offenders

     More than 200 representatives from around 80 business organisations, social enterprises, statutory bodies and social sectors today (June 24) attended the "Unleashing Rehabilitated Offenders' Potential" Employment Symposium to discuss how to help rehabilitated offenders reintegrate into the community through employment opportunities.

     The Symposium, the eighth so far, was jointly organised by the Correctional Services Department (CSD) and the Centre for Criminology of the University of Hong Kong (HKU). It aimed to provide a platform for employers who had hired rehabilitated offenders to share their experiences and for rehabilitated offenders to share their stories of reintegration. The event also aimed to appeal to the public and employers to accept and give fair job opportunities to rehabilitated offenders and help them reintegrate into society.

     The theme of the Symposium was "Unleashing Rehabilitated Offenders' Potential". The image of an aeroplane taking off at the opening ceremony symbolised that, with the concerted efforts of all sectors of the community as well as employers, rehabilitated offenders can spread their wings and unleash their potential as they progress towards a better life.

     Guest of honour and Executive Director of the Vocational Training Council, Dr Carrie Yau, said she was impressed by the diverse and market-oriented vocational training provided by the CSD for persons in custody, which both prepares them to take up the job opportunities offered by employers and helps their reintegration into society.

     The Honorary Director of HKU's Centre for Criminology, Professor Karen Laidler, thanked all employers present at the Symposium for their care and continuous support for rehabilitated offenders, which they showed by offering them jobs after release.

     At the Symposium, academics, business sectors and employers from various fields exchanged views on the importance of job opportunities for rehabilitated offenders and their experience in hiring them, the role of the CSD in helping them find employment, and the role of CSD supervision staff in job-matching between rehabilitated offenders and employers. Arrangements were also made for rehabilitated offenders under statutory supervision to talk about their path to rehabilitation, including their career development and recognition through hard work. Persons in custody from Cape Collinson Correctional Institution undergoing food and beverage service training also served guests at the luncheon.

     Dr Yau and the Commissioner of Correctional Services, Mr Yau Chi-chiu, presented awards to companies that have offered jobs to rehabilitated offenders, in recognition of their support for offender rehabilitation.

Ends/Friday, June 24, 2016
Issued at HKT 16:24

The Commissioner of Correctional Services, Mr Yau Chi-chiu (left); the Executive Director of the Vocational Training Council, Dr Carrie Yau (centre) and the Honorary Director of the University of Hong Kong's Centre for Criminology, Professor Karen Laidler (right) launch the "Unleashing Rehabilitated Offenders' Potential" Employment Symposium today (June 24).

The Commissioner of Correctional Services, Mr Yau Chi-chiu (left); the Executive Director of the Vocational Training Council, Dr Carrie Yau (centre) and the Honorary Director of the University of Hong Kong's Centre for Criminology, Professor Karen Laidler (right) launch the "Unleashing Rehabilitated Offenders' Potential" Employment Symposium today (June 24).

The Commissioner of Correctional Services, Mr Yau Chi-chiu (front row, right) presents an award to one of the companies that has offered jobs to rehabilitated offenders, in recognition of its support for offender rehabilitation today (June 24) at the "Unleashing Rehabilitated Offenders' Potential" Employment Symposium.

The Commissioner of Correctional Services, Mr Yau Chi-chiu (front row, right) presents an award to one of the companies that has offered jobs to rehabilitated offenders, in recognition of its support for offender rehabilitation today (June 24) at the "Unleashing Rehabilitated Offenders' Potential" Employment Symposium.

A rehabilitated offender (third left) today (June 24) at the "Unleashing Rehabilitated Offenders' Potential" Employment Symposium talks about their path to rehabilitation, including their career development and recognition obtained through hard work.

A rehabilitated offender (third left) today (June 24) at the "Unleashing Rehabilitated Offenders' Potential" Employment Symposium talks about their path to rehabilitation, including their career development and recognition obtained through hard work.