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Amendments to motion on “Caring about the education, employment, housing, home acquisition and business start-up problems faced by young people” (Withdrawn, Wording of the motion passed)

Hon Charles Peter MOK’s amendment

(#Note: Bold and underlined: Additional wording; Deletion line: Deletion of original wording)

That young people are the future pillars of society, but in the face of globalization and the rapid development of neighbouring regions, Hong Kong young people not only face many challenges during their growth, but also lack upward mobility opportunities, and their aspirations are particularly salient in respect of education, employment, housing, home acquisition and business start-up; however, the Government currently does not formulate any comprehensive support measures mainly targeted at young people to assist them in concentrating on education, establishing career, and resolving the problems of housing and business start-up, thus causing problems such as mismatch of manpowerresources, high youth unemployment rate and accumulation of social grievances, which are which is not conducive to the long-term development of Hong Kong society; in this connection, this Council urges the Government to careabout young people’s needs; the specific measuresshould include introduce specific measures to enhance young people’scompetitiveness, including:

Education –

(a) to increase the places for publicly-funded bachelor’s degree programmes and various types of diploma programmes, and enhance the qualification recognition of the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination, sub-degrees and the Yi Jin Diploma in Hong Kong, the Mainland and the international community, so as to widen young people’s pathways of further studies;

(b) to comprehensively review the assistance as well as loans and repayment arrangements under the various existing student finance schemes, abolish the risk rate, set an interest rate ceiling for the Non-means Tested Loan Scheme at 2.5%, and replace the means-tested loans with interest-free loans;

(c) to comprehensively review the Continuing Education Fund Scheme, raise the cap on the amount of subsidy receivable by each applicant to $20,000, and extend the period of four years within which applicants must submit all claims as required by the scheme, etc., so as to encourage young people to pursue continuous education;

Employment –

(d) to review the employment training support services for young people, enhance the existing Youth Pre-employment Training Programme and Youth Work Experience and Training Scheme, and raise the level of the relevant subsidies to $3,000, so as to attract the participation of more employers to provide more employment and training opportunities suitable for young people in the market;

(e) to set up more ‘Youth Employment Start’ (‘Y.E.S.’) resource centres throughout Hong Kong, strengthen the training targeted at young people, enhance their employment skills, and provide one-stop employment counselling;

(f) to promote the commencement of ‘career planning’ at the stage of secondary education, so as to enable secondary students to make better planning for their future career development;

(g) to motivate employers to provide employees with ‘training leave’, including offering tax concessions to such employers, so as to facilitate working young people to pursue studies and acquire professional qualifications by examination;

(h) to co-operate with public andprivate organizations and enterprises to encourage the employment of young people with lessworking experience and share with them the relevant salarypayments, so as to increase young people’s chances of securingemployment;

Housing and home acquisition –

(i) to build more public rental housing (‘PRH’) flats, and review the existing eligibilitycriteria for applying for PRH, so as to formulate a more reasonable and fairer method for waiting for and allocation of PRH for young people;

(j) to construct at least 5 000 Home Ownership Scheme flats each year, re-launch the Sandwich Class Housing Scheme, and ensure the annual provision of 20 000 private residential flats, so as to build anintegrated housing ladder for people;

(k) on the premise ofhaving an adequate supply of private housing, to conduct a study on re-launching the Home Starter Loan Scheme focusing on young people with relatively stable financial income;

Business start-up –

(l)(h) to establish a start-up fund for young people, implement projects conducive to nurturing young people’s creativity and provide loans to young people who have creative business start-up plans and the ability but lack the capital; and

(m)(i) to offer ‘business start-up training programmes’ for the provision of the necessary business start-up knowledge, so as to assist young people in devising and implementing their business start-up plans.

Office Of Hon. Charles Mok, Legislative Councillor (IT)