Jockey Club Collaborative Project for Inclusive Employment - Inclusive Career Platform
In collaboration with the four key NGO partners – CareER, Heep Hong Society, SAHK and St. James’ Settlement, and funded by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. Jockey Club Collaborative Project for Inclusive Employment adopts a stakeholder-based and collaborative approach to attaining inclusive employment.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected many who have historically faced significant barriers to employment, including people with disabilities (PWD). According to a study, up to 800 million global workers will lose their jobs by 2030 and be replaced by robotic automation in the age of science and technology. The ever-expanding use of digital technology implies new job types and work modes. More people than ever are engaging in flexible working and working from home. Organised by the Centre for Civil Society and Governance (CCSG) of The University of Hong Kong (HKU) and funded by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, the three-year Jockey Club Collaborative Project for Inclusive Employment’s Inclusive Career Platform conducted a “Seizing Opportunities for Inclusive Employment in a Time of Change” symposium today (November 18) that brought together various stakeholders including policy makers, representatives of philanthropic and innovation and technology (I&T) sector, teachers, and general public to discuss employment opportunities and possibilities for PWD under the emerging work landscape.
In his welcoming remarks, Professor Wai-Fung LAM, Director of CCSG of HKU said, “Despite their substantial number, PWD may be seen, but not heard. Under the pandemic, various new normal have come into being in the society. We should re-vision how to unleash PWD’s talents. Similar to all members of society, they are entitled to possibilities and respect. This is imperative to fostering a sustainable society.”
Ms Imelda CHAN, Head of Charities (Healthy Community), The Hong Kong Jockey Club delivered her opening address and said, “This symposium brings together diverse experts and stakeholders to discuss how to effectively promote inclusive employment under the new normal and explore ways to establish a more inclusive culture. The Jockey Club Collaborative Project for Inclusive Employment serves as a model to combat social prejudice and it encourages the opening up of more employment opportunities for job seekers of different abilities.”
Dr Kevin LAU, President of Hong Kong Small and Medium Enterprises Development Institute; Dr Sunny CHAI, Chairman of Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) and Dr Hon Stephen WONG Yuen-shan, Senior Vice President & Executive Director of Public Policy Institute, Our Hong Kong Foundation; Member of Legislative Council, were the keynote speakers at the symposium.
Dr LAU began by sharing his observations on the challenges and opportunities for inclusive employment. He said: “After the pandemic and technological development, the operation modes of companies are evolving due to the cost and convenience. Many new types of work have also emerged during this transformation. Both PWD and enterprises should innovate and change in a timely manner to meet the needs of the market.”
Elaborating on how I&T enriches inclusive employment possibilities, Dr CHAI stated, “Our Park companies and partners have developed innovative solutions and products to help PWD improve quality of life and well-being. HKSTP also supports inclusive employment, through incubation programmes and experience workshops to inspire startups and talents with different cultural backgrounds and abilities to join the I&T ecosystem. Our established I&T ecosystem continues to grow and expand, with a community of over 18,000 people now, actively developing Hong Kong into an international I&T hub. Through collaborating extensively with stakeholders from government, industry, academic and research sectors, HKSTP has been cultivating and attracting talents for 20 years, expanding the talent pool of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and improving the entire I&T ecosystem.”
Dr Hon WONG discussed the employment market and importance of vocational training. He said: “In addition to achieving diverse and inclusive workplace, Hong Kong should provide vocational training that fits for the market needs, alternatives and support with view to facilitate an enabling environment for the PWD to unleash their talent and release workforce to the society.”
They were followed by a panel discussion on “Opportunities in a New Era: Strategy for Promoting Inclusive Employment” featuring Ms Honnus CHEUNG, Founder & Chief Strategy Officer of On-us under Mojodomo Group; Mr Nelson TSE, Honorary Chairman of Hong Kong Retail Technology Industry Association, and Founder and Sales and Marketing Director of Million Tech Development Limited; and Mr Duncan LIU, Project Specialist of Green Tomato Limited. They shed light on devising effective strategies for promoting inclusive employment in the new era to increase workforce diversity, and raise productivity.
Looking ahead, the Jockey Club Collaborative Project for Inclusive Employment will continue to enhance the social awareness on the importance and value of inclusive employment through academic research and action platform, empower the community stakeholders, and foster collective actions for innovative solutions to unleash the talent of PWD.