More than 230 employers and representatives from 110 companies, social enterprises and statutory bodies today (June 14) attended a symposium to discuss employment opportunities for rehabilitated persons to facilitate their reintegration into society.
The Give Rehabilitated Offenders a Chance Employment Symposium, the sixth of its kind, was jointly held by the Correctional Services Department (CSD) and the Centre for Criminology of the University of Hong Kong.
The symposium aimed to call on the public and employers to give equal opportunities to rehabilitated persons, thereby demonstrating their care and acceptance to enable rehabilitated people to reintegrate into society.
"Successful reintegration requires employment in the community," the Director of the Centre for Criminology of the University of Hong Kong, Professor Karen Laidler, said in her welcoming speech at the symposium.
"Developing good work habits, fostering a positive work attitude and providing opportunities to acquire employable skills have been at the core of CSD's mission of offender rehabilitation," she added.
She thanked employers, who were present at the symposium, for their care and continuous support for rehabilitated persons through offering jobs to them after their release.
These employers have brought hope and a productive and harmonious future not only for ex-offenders but also for society.
"Last year, about 14,000 men and women were admitted to CSD's facilities. During their incarceration, persons in custody work, and in the process acquire skills which hopefully will be helpful in acquiring employment upon release," the Assistant Commissioner of Correctional Services (Rehabilitation), Mr Tang Ping-ming, said.
"Many persons in custody also seek to build on these skills through public examinations and vocational qualifications in fields like business and finance, data management, English language, hairdressing, beauty therapy, retailing, air-conditioning and refrigeration, construction, interior decoration, and Chinese culinary and restaurant service training," he added.
In the symposium, academics, business people and government representatives exchanged views on the importance of work for rehabilitated persons and their actual experience in hiring them, as well as the role of CSD supervision staff in matching them with employers. Three young supervisees talked about their path to rehabilitation. Six inmates from the Cape Collinson Correctional Institution proficient in culinary and restaurant skills also served guests at the luncheon.
Officiating guests also attending the symposium were the Commissioner of Correctional Services, Mr Sin Yat-kin; the Executive Director of the Phoenix Charitable Foundation, Mr Lee Yuk-fat; and the Chairman of the Committee on Community Support for Rehabilitated Offenders, Mr Hui Chung-shing.
Ends/Thursday, June 14, 2012
Issued at HKT 18:01
The Commissioner of Correctional Services, Mr Sin Yat-kin (centre), today (June 14) presents a gold award to a representative from one of the companies offering jobs to rehabilitated persons. The award presentation was to show appreciation for the companies' long-time support for rehabilitation work.
Three rehabilitated persons at the employment symposium share their experiences of job seeking with the moderator, Professor of the Department of Sociology of the University of Hong Kong, Prof Lui Tai-lok (left).