Major Findings


18 / 11 / 2014

(Chinese version only)

報告全文 (非賣品) 
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青 少 年 問 題 研 究 系 列(五 十 二)

青 年 窮 忙 族 能 脫 離 困 境 嗎 ?

二 零 一 四 年 十 一 月



「青 年 窮 忙 族 能 脫 離 困 境 嗎 ?」 研 究 發 現

逾 七 成 受 訪 青 年 稱 難 以 找 尋 具 發 展 前 景 的 工 作
青 協 建 議 政 府 為 低 收 入 在 職 青 年 提 供 兼 讀 課 程 學 費 資 助


香 港 青 年 協 會 公 布 最 新 一 項 「青 年 窮 忙 族 能 脫 離 困 境 嗎 ?」 之 研 究 結 果 。 其 中 全 港 青 年 意 見 調 查 發 現 , 在 五 百 多 名 15 至 34 歲 受 訪 青 年 中 , 認 為 在 職 貧 窮 的 原 因 主 要 是 住 屋 開 支 太 大(29.8%)、 個 人 學 歷 低(25.4%)、 工 種 選 擇 少 或 個 別 行 業 不 景(24.9%)、 住 屋 以 外 的 日 常 開 支 太 大(21.1%), 以 及 受 合 約 工 / 外 判 工 / 不 穩 定 工 作(18.1%)影 響 。 

調 查 又 顯 示 , 認 為 找 到 長 期 穩 定 工 作 屬 困 難 的 受 訪 者 佔 半 數 受 訪 者(52.5%); 而 認 為 找 到 有 發 展 前 景 工 作 屬 於 困 難 的 受 訪 者 佔 七 成(70.5%); 認 為 提 升 社 會 階 層 及 可 以 負 擔 住 屋 開 支 屬 困 難 的 受 訪 者 , 佔 更 高 比 例(分 別 達 72.1 % 和 77.0%)。 情 況 反 映 , 受 訪 青 年 普 遍 認 為 現 今 青 年 的 發 展 機 會 欠 佳 。 

經 加 權 後 的 數 據 顯 示 , 在 受 訪 的 在 職 及 待 業 青 年 中 , 近 四 成(37.8%)認 為 自 己 屬 於 在 職 貧 窮 , 他 們 較 集 中 在 服 務 、 銷 售 及 輔 助 專 業 等 職 位 , 並 以 低 學 歷 者 居 多 。 當 中 超 過 三 成 估 計 自 己 需 時 5 年 至 15 年 以 上 才 能 脫 離 貧 窮 , 近 一 成 更 估 計 自 己 永 遠 無 法 脫 貧 。 

該 項 研 究 於 今 年 9 月 至 10 月 期 間 進 行 , 透 過 全 港 性 的 隨 機 抽 樣 , 以 電 話 成 功 訪 問 了 522 名 年 齡 介 乎 15 至 34 歲 香 港 青 年 , 回 應 率 為 51.5 % , 樣 本 的 標 準 誤 低 於 ±2.2 % 。 研 究 亦 以 政 府 「鼓 勵 就 業 交 通 津 貼 計 劃」 為 基 礎 的 計 算 方 法 , 即 個 人 每 月 收 入 不 超 過 $8,315 , 個 人 資 產 限 額 不 超 過 $79,500 , 作 為 界 定 「 在 職 貧 窮 」 , 亦 即 是 次 研 究 所 指 的 「窮 忙 族」 。 另 外 , 根 據 政 府 統 計 處 的 資 料 , 全 港 共 有 104,300 名 15 至 34 歲 月 入 少 於 $8,500 的 在 職 貧 窮 青 年 , 佔 該 年 齡 層 在 職 者 的 10.3% 。 

研 究 亦 深 入 訪 問 了 20 名 年 齡 介 乎 15 至 34 歲 的 在 職 貧 窮 青 年 , 以 了 解 他 們 的 就 業 條 件 、 困 難 處 境 , 和 對 未 來 的 計 劃 。 受 訪 個 案 的 學 歷 多 屬 中 學 程 度 , 並 多 以 兼 職 、 散 工 、 短 期 工 等 形 式 任 職 飲 食 、 零 售 等 基 層 職 位 或 初 級 文 職 職 位 。 

受 訪 個 案 反 映 , 自 己 受 僱 的 兼 職 理 貨 工 作 以 時 薪 計 算 , 工 作 經 驗 難 以 獲 其 他 僱 主 承 認 , 即 使 每 天 上 班 10 至 12 小 時 , 也 未 能 累 積 有 用 的 經 驗 去 改 善 工 作 待 遇 。 

而 有 受 訪 學 者 指 出 , 現 時 勞 動 市 場 的 世 界 性 發 展 趨 勢 , 均 是 以 臨 時 性 質 、 薪 金 低 和 發 展 空 間 有 限 的 不 穩 定 職 位 增 長 為 主 , 受 僱 能 力 較 弱 的 青 年 難 以 競 爭 待 遇 佳 的 穩 定 職 位 。 有 受 訪 的 資 深 人 事 顧 問 就 認 為 , 青 年 需 訂 立 個 人 就 業 目 標 , 並 為 求 職 於 較 穩 定 工 作 而 作 出 規 劃 和 部 署 , 例 如 進 修 增 值 。 

不 過 , 有 希 望 進 修 專 業 會 計 課 程 的 青 年 個 案 就 指 , 自 己 因 低 學 歷 只 能 找 到 基 層 工 作 , 另 一 方 又 因 基 層 工 作 收 入 低 而 無 法 應 付 在 職 進 修 所 需 的 昂 貴 學 費 , 正 反 映 了 在 職 貧 窮 青 年 無 法 脫 離 困 境 的 惡 性 循 環 。 

雖 然 如 此 , 受 訪 青 年 普 遍 認 同 以 個 人 努 力 去 改 善 生 活 , 即 使 符 合 資 格 申 請 勞 工 處 的 「 鼓 勵 就 業 交 通 津 貼 計 劃 」 , 不 少 人 都 拒 絕 申 領 , 並 表 示 自 己 不 想 依 靠 政 府 。 有 受 訪 青 年 嘗 試 開 拓 其 他 範 疇 的 出 路 , 例 如 音 樂 、 拍 攝 、 藝 術 等 , 但 有 感 發 展 空 間 不 大 , 容 易 令 人 放 棄 。 

香 港 青 年 協 會 副 總 幹 事 馮 丹 媚 表 示 , 工 作 對 青 年 來 說 並 不 單 單 是 短 期 賺 錢 謀 生 的 工 具 , 他 們 需 要 透 過 工 作 去 建 立 基 礎 和 計 劃 未 來 , 以 至 開 拓 視 野 和 發 揮 自 己 的 才 能 。 她 認 為 社 會 應 向 有 志 於 改 善 受 僱 能 力 的 青 年 提 供 更 多 機 會 , 並 建 議 關 愛 基 金 應 考 慮 為 低 收 入 的 在 職 青 年 提 供 學 費 資 助 , 讓 他 們 以 兼 讀 形 式 進 修 特 定 課 程 , 獲 取 專 門 的 認 可 資 歷 。 

馮 丹 媚 又 認 為 , 多 元 化 的 職 場 實 習 職 位 , 有 助 於 受 僱 能 力 較 弱 的 青 年 人 豐 富 和 累 積 工 作 經 驗 。 她 建 議 政 府 鼓 勵 商 會 與 企 業 合 作 , 推 行 大 型 青 年 就 業 實 習 計 劃 , 並 參 考 勞 工 處 展 翅 青 見 計 劃 的 經 驗 , 由 政 府 提 供 半 年 至 一 年 的 培 訓 津 貼 , 以 作 支 援 。 

— 完 —

29 / 05 / 2014


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Youth Study Series No.51

A Study on How to Facilitate Youth Participation in 
Creative Industries
May 2014

 
The cultural and creative industries (CCI) are deemed to be an emerging force to advance economic development in the world.  The engagement and participation of young people in CCI is significant to their development in both economic and non-economic aspects in addition to the continual development of CCI.

In 2009, CCI were defined by the government as one of the six economic areas where Hong Kong enjoyed clear advantages.  Though the government indicated that it is concerned about the development of CCI, whether Hong Kong has implemented effective policies and measures in fostering high quality talents and in creating a favourable environment to facilitate the development of CCI and youth participation in CCI is still in doubt.

This study aims to investigate the strategies in facilitating youth participation in CCI.  Firstly, the study reviewed the development of CCI and relevant policies in South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan, and compared these policies with those in Hong Kong.

Secondly, a territory-wide youth telephone survey was designed to understand the desires of Hong Kong young people to participate in CCI and their evaluation on the performance of the relevant industries.  By random sampling, 520 young people aged 18 to 34 were successfully polled, with a response rate of 51.1% and a standard error of ±2.2%.

Thirdly, in-depth interviews with relevant stakeholders were conducted in order to understand the current development of CCI in Hong Kong as well as the situation of youth participation and the obstacles the stakeholders face.  A total of 19 stakeholders were successfully interviewed which included 8 young practitioners and 11 experts or experienced practitioners.  Young practitioners were recruited through the service units of The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups and snowball sampling.

The major findings are summarized as follows:

1. Hong Kong young people are interested to take part in CCI,  but the lack of career prospects and performing opportunities make it difficult for them to participate in CCI.

2. Young people lack confidence in the prospects of the local CCI.  The overall development of the sector is not good.  The main reasons are that Hong Kong fails to open up the mainland and overseas markets significantly and the local market is also limited.  The government should demonstrate commitment and take action to help the sector grow and enhance its competitiveness.

3. Hong Kong lacks both an overall strategy for the development of CCI and a leading body for coordinating relevant policies.  In contrast, the governments of South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan are playing an active role in promoting the industries.  They have set up high-level policy-making bodies to lead on and assist in the development of the industries.

4. The government fails to generate supporting policies in response to the specific needs for the development of CCI; in particular, in response to the business problems such as the high cost of local rent and the shortage of investment funds.  South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan have generated more comprehensive measures in promoting CCI, such as increasing the demand and improving the quality of CCI and facilitating investments.

5. The nurturing of talents in CCI needs to be sustainable and systematic.  The professional standard of local practitioners is still elementary and mixed.  CCI also need a comprehensive type of talent.  The standard of the practitioners in general needs to be improved.

6. There is a lack of concern for creativity in the community, which then limits the performing opportunities of young practitioners in CCI.  The art and cultural literacy and appreciation ability among youth and the general public needs to be improved so that the development of CCI will be more sustainable and energetic.


-End-



 

 

 

20 / 02 / 2014


(Chinese version only)

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青 少 年 問 題 研 究 系 列(五 十)

穿 梭 兩 地 — 跨 境 學 生 的 學 習 與 成 長 需 要 研 究

二 零 一 四 年 二 月



「穿 梭 兩 地 — 跨 境 學 生 的 學 習 與 成 長 需 要 研 究」 發 現
四 分 之 一 受 訪 跨 境 學 生 每 天 花 超 過 3 小 時 穿 梭 兩 地
青 協 建 議 試 行 在 港 寄 宿 服 務 並 優 化 港 籍 學 生 班

現 時 每 日 有 數 以 萬 計 跨 境 學 生 來 港 上 學 , 香 港 青 年 協 會 最 新 一 項 「穿 梭 兩 地 —– 跨 境 學 生 的 學 習 與 成 長 需 要 研 究 」 發 現 , 71 0 名 在 港 就 讀 小 四 至 中 三 的 受 訪 跨 境 學 生 中 , 六 成 八 (68.0%) 每 天 需 要 花 超 過 1 小 時 上 學 , 另 兩 成 半 (24.5%) 更 要 花 超 過 1.5 小 時 , 來 回 路 程 需 時 加 倍 , 學 生 身 心 俱 疲 。

儘 管 車 程 費 時 , 但 無 阻 跨 境 學 生 來 港 讀 書 的 意 願 。 調 查 結 果 顯 示 , 高 達 八 成 半 (84.6 %) 受 訪 者 選 擇 在 港 繼 續 升 學 ; 另 外 , 七 成 (70.1%) 表 示 希 望 日 後 在 港 工 作 。

調 查 又 發 現 , 香 港 的 教 學 模 式 對 跨 境 學 生 及 家 長 有 一 定 吸 引 力 。 接 近 三 成 (29.5%) 受 訪 學 生 指 出 , 來 港 讀 書 令 他 們 最 感 開 心 的 , 是 香 港 教 育 質 素 較 內 地 好 。 然 而 , 研 究 發 現 語 文 適 應 是 跨 境 學 生 來 港 讀 書 面 對 的 最 大 困 難 之 一 , 兩 成 九 (28.9%) 受 訪 學 生 表 示 自 己 在 英 文 科 方 面 追 不 上 。

此 外 , 跨 境 學 生 在 港 的 學 習 生 活 並 不 完 整 , 逾 四 成 (40.6% ) 受 訪 學 生 無 參 與 課 後 學 習 活 動 , 主 要 原 因 是 趕 著 過 境 回 家 , 時 間 上 未 能 作 出 配 合 ; 另 有 逾 兩 成 (21.5%) 受 訪 者 坦 言 , 他 們 的 學 習 機 會 較 其 他 同 學 為 少 。

隨 著 中 港 在 經 濟 及 文 化 等 方 面 的 融 合 愈 趨 頻 繁 , 兩 地 矛 盾 及 文 化 差 異 等 情 況 引 起 社 會 關 注 。 調 查 顯 示 , 過 半 數 受 訪 學 生 (56.3%) 感 到 同 學 的 態 度 親 切 友 善 。 不 過 , 朋 輩 相 處 仍 面 對 一 些 問 題 , 主 要 包 括 與 香 港 同 學 缺 乏 共 同 話 題 (12.6%) 、 缺 乏 相 處 相 間 (9.8%) , 以 及 大 家 生 活 習 慣 上 各 有 不 同 (8.3%) 。 而 整 體 觀 感 方 面 , 近 一 成 三 (12.5%) 受 訪 跨 境 學 生 感 受 到 本 港 社 會 並 不 歡 迎 跨 境 學 生 , 七 成 三 (72.7%) 則 無 此 感 覺 。

上 述 調 查 於 2013 年 12 月 至 2014 年 1 月 期 間 進 行 , 以 自 填 問 卷 形 式 , 成 功 訪 問 了 710 名 來 自 北 區 、 元 朗 區 及 屯 門 區 合 共 14 所 小 學 及 中 學 的 跨 境 學 生 。

研 究 亦 深 入 訪 問 16 名 跨 境 學 生 及 家 長 , 有 學 生 表 示 , 上 學 舟 車 勞 頓 , 令 他 們 經 常 出 現 身 體 不 適 或 身 心 疲 倦 , 甚 至 在 途 中 迷 路 及 搭 錯 車 ; 有 學 生 透 露 , 希 望 一 直 在 港 升 學 , 並 以 完 成 大 學 為 目 標 ; 亦 有 學 生 坦 言 , 不 善 於 廣 東 話 及 英 語 溝 通 , 難 於 融 入 港 人 的 社 交 圈 子 。 有 家 長 則 認 為 , 子 女 擁 有 香 港 居 民 身 份 , 來 港 讀 書 是 順 理 成 章 , 而 子 女 接 受 香 港 教 育 , 有 助 他 們 的 前 途 發 展 。

另 一 方 面 , 接 近 四 成 七 (46.5%) 坦 言 , 他 們 並 不 想 入 讀 深 圳 的 「港 籍 學 生 班」 ; 有 深 入 訪 問 的 家 長 亦 指 出 , 內 地 學 校 不 會 安 排 學 生 來 港 參 加 課 外 活 動 , 加 上 兩 地 教 育 模 式 不 一 , 擔 心 子 女 將 來 不 能 融 入 香 港 生 活 和 發 展 。 研 究 認 為 , 此 類 學 生 班 雖 有 助 紓 緩 合 資 格 學 生 來 港 需 求 , 但 仍 有 不 少 優 化 空 間 。

香 港 青 年 協 會 副 總 幹 事 馮 丹 媚 在 總 結 時 表 示 , 跨 境 學 生 是 本 港 社 會 未 來 重 要 的 人 力 資 源 , 從 培 育 人 才 的 角 度 , 愈 早 培 育 他 們 , 愈 有 利 本 港 長 遠 發 展 及 人 口 質 素 的 提 升 。 她 指 出 , 跨 境 學 生 對 來 港 讀 書 有 一 定 的 需 求 和 期 望 , 對 本 港 幼 稚 園 、 小 學 及 中 學 學 額 均 帶 來 影 響 , 特 區 政 府 宜 盡 早 作 出 評 估 和 政 策 部 署 。

研 究 報 告 指 出 , 跨 境 學 生 明 白 來 港 上 學 的 好 處 , 卻 面 對 種 種 困 難 。 研 究 建 議 當 局 應 試 行 在 港 設 寄 宿 服 務 , 協 助 跨 境 學 生 體 驗 港 式 生 活 文 化 , 及 早 適 應 和 融 入 香 港 社 會 。 研 究 分 析 指 , 「港 籍 學 生 班」 存 在 不 少 局 限 , 包 括 內 地 學 額 不 足 、 學 生 缺 少 參 與 及 體 驗 香 港 社 區 的 機 會 , 加 上 兩 地 評 核 標 準 不 一 , 小 六 畢 業 生 參 加 香 港 中 學 統 一 派 位 時 , 可 能 會 出 現 不 公 平 情 況 , 均 值 得 當 局 正 視 。 
 

— 完 —

24 / 10 / 2013


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Youth Study Series No.49

The Daily Needs and Financial Pressures of
Young People with Government Loans

October 2013

 

Whether they are in publicly funded programmes or locally accredited self-financing programmes, tertiary students who are in financial need can apply for government grants and loans in order to pay tuition, academic expenses, and living expenses. In the 2012/13 academic year, a total of 46,099 loans were given to students. Adding on the number of graduates who are repaying loans after completing their programmes, the number of accounts with student loan debt amounted to over 204,493.

Why do tertiary students actually need loans? Can the existing student financial assistance and loan schemes help people who are genuinely in need? What are the daily needs and financial pressures of tertiary students who get through their college lives with loans? What impacts do loans have on their career and life developments after graduation?

To further explore these concerns, this study uses an online survey to investigate the daily needs and financial pressures of tertiary students who have taken government student loans. Data were also gathered through case interviews with tertiary students and graduates, experts and scholars in order to understand the details of the financial pressures of the young people concerned, and the stakeholders’ views on the current tertiary student financial assistance policies.

With the help of the student affairs offices of different tertiary institutions, a total of 727 eligible students with government loans were successfully polled with a standard error of ±1.9%.

The case interviews were arranged through the service units of The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups and snowball sampling. A total of 20 tertiary students and graduates below age 30 who have taken government student loans were interviewed. In addition, a total of five experts and scholars were successfully interviewed.

The major findings are summarized as follows:

1. Tertiary students take student loans because of real daily needs. Though many tertiary students benefit from grants and means-tested loans, many needy cases failed to obtain this kind of assistance from the student financial assistance schemes, meaning they can only take loans of Non-means-tested Loan Scheme (NLS loans). They face more stringent repayment terms and usually accumulate higher debt.

2. The application procedures for grants and means-tested loan schemes are too complicated, and the approval conditions are so stringent that they failed to consider some actual situations of the needy families, such as casual work or the fact that certain possessions cannot be sold. This has excluded some students in need from the financial assistance schemes.

3. Students who had taken loans were still facing considerable financial pressure. Many respondents tried to alleviate their financial difficulties through long hours of part-time work, frugal living, and reducing social and other learning activities, which excludes students from normal student life.

4. Since students in self-financing programmes face high tuition and grants that have a ceiling, even the students most in need may not be offered grants that are sufficient to pay tuition. They have no choice but to work long hours in part-time jobs or to take NLS loans, so their grievances are particularly strong.

5. The path for students in self-financing programmes to pursue study is tortuous. Most graduates of associate degree programmes are not able to enrol in publicly funded programmes. They can only continue to enrol in self-financing top-up degree programmes, thus racking up debt.

6. Students from non-professional disciplines do not dare to take loans because they are uncertain about their future. This has put much pressure on their lives as students.

7. Due to the insufficient number of places in publicly funded programmes, a substantial number of students need to enrol in self-financing programmes and face high tuition fees and great financial pressure. Discontent then accumulates. The government needs to consider the problem from the viewpoint of young people and increase the number of spots in publicly funded programmes to meet the demand.

 

-End-

 

06 / 06 / 2013


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Youth Study Series No.48

A Study on Employment Difficulties and
The Way Out for Young People
June 2013

 
In Hong Kong, young people still face obstacles in the job-search process and in the workplace. They have difficulty looking for and keeping jobs, particularly young people with weak qualifications. So why are young people still facing employment difficulties? What are the specific difficulties they face in the job search and in the workplace? How can the policies and measures be improved to help young people?

This study tried to understand the job expectations of young people in general through a random-sampling telephone survey. Data were also gathered through case interviews with senior secondary school leavers, employers, experts, and government officials in order to understand the employment difficulties faced by people who leave senior secondary school and to explore possible employment policies and measures.

This study focuses on the situations of senior secondary school leavers with weak employment qualifications. In this study, “senior secondary school leavers” refers to people aged 15 to 29 in Hong Kong who leave school with educational attainment of Form 4 to Form 7 or equivalent who were not full-time students at the time of the interview.

The telephone survey was designed to understand the job expectations of young people in general and to assess their employment qualifications. By random sampling, 525 eligible young people aged 15 to 29 were successfully polled, for a response rate of 53.6%, with a standard error of ±2.2%.

The case interviews were aimed at understanding the employment history of senior secondary school leavers and the difficulties they face in the job market. A total of 20 senior secondary school leavers aged 15 to 29 were individually interviewed.

The aim of the employer interviews was to understand their requirements in employing young people, their evaluation of the performance of young employees, as well as the nature of work and the learning opportunities they can provide to young employees. A total of four employers and human resources personnel were successfully interviewed.

The aim of the interviews with experts and government officials was to understand stakeholders’ views on the employment difficulties of senior secondary school leavers, as well as their opinions on employment policies and measures. A total of four employment experts were successfully interviewed, while one government official provided written responses to the interview questions.

The major findings are summarized as follows:

1. The number of senior secondary (or equivalent) school leavers aged 15 to 29 in Hong Kong exceeds 400,000, but young people usually learn little about employment when attending school. They do not understand their own personality and abilities and therefore lack employment goals, resulting in difficulty joining the job market and adaptation in the workplace.

2. Young people usually think that their choice of job types is limited, but there is a gap between their preferred industry and the career-development opportunities in different industries. Therefore, the problem of job mismatch makes it so that young people have limited job choices.

3. School leavers usually lack work experience, and they have difficulty entering the job market. They can only make a breakthrough through part-time or short-term jobs.

4. Young people have not paid enough attention to the attitudes and ethics required by the workplace. If the employers fail to give an adaptation period to new employees or if the employees fail to overcome the problems encountered in the new job, the jobs are not likely to last long.

5. If the employer is able to provide visible and clear promotion prospects, or if there are development opportunities in the industry, the young employees will work longer and be more stable employees.

6. Young people with a low sense of on-the-job learning face career development problems.

7. The work values of young people have gradually shifted to work-life balance. In addition, some young people have no urgent financial needs. The traditional workplace environment has therefore become less attractive to them.

-End-



 

 

 

20 / 12 / 2012


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Youth Study Series No.47

Young People’s Views on Authority

December 2012

 

As individuals, family members, and members of society, young people come into contact with different types of authority figures during their growth period.  How do they view authority?  What are the factors influencing their attitudes towards authority?  Do they willingly obey authority figures?

This study focused on representative authority figures in five selected social institutions which are closely related to young people: parents in the family, teachers in schools, supervisors in the workplace, police officers in the community, and senior government officials in the government.  The study areas included whether or not young people recognize the exercise of authority by authority figures, their views on the characteristics of authority, their attitudes towards authority figures, and attributing factors.  It is hoped that a deeper understanding of the younger generation can be attained through this study.

This study focused on young people aged between 15 and 29.  Data were gathered from an online survey and focus group interviews.

An online survey was conducted between 15th November and 10th December 2012.  Through random sampling among members of The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups (HKFYG) and email invitations, 752 eligible young people aged between 15 and 29 were successfully polled, with a standard error within ±1.9%.

Focus group interviews were held between 15th and 17th November 2012.  With the assistance of the service units of the HKFYG, four groups comprising a total of 29 Hong Kong young people aged between 15 and 29 were formed.  The focus group interviewees included both HKFYG members and non-members, workers and school students, and young men and women of different age groups (15-19 years old; 20-24 years old; 25-29 years old).

The major findings are summarized as follows:

1. 
The young respondents ranked supervisors at work as the top authority figures among the five listed types of authority figures, followed by parents, police officers, teachers, and senior government officials.  The recognition ratings were all above moderate.

2.
Respondents considered personal integrity the most important quality of an authority figure, ranking “credibility” as the top characteristic, with an average rating of 8.85.  Personal capacity was considered the second most important quality, followed by social status.  Personal charisma was considered the least important quality.

3.
The young interviewees showed positive attitudes towards authority figures in general.  In particular, their attitudes towards their parents were the most positive, followed by their attitudes towards teachers, their supervisors at work, and police officers.  Their attitudes towards senior government officials were negative.

4. 
Factors influencing the attitudes of the young people towards authority figures.

a.
The status of parental authority was extremely solid and was least affected by objective factors.

b. 
The personal integrity and attitudes of senior government officials, police officers, and teachers affected the respect and trust paid to them by the young people.

c. 
Whether or not the young people thought that authority figures possess professionalism and professional knowledge was an important factor affecting their respect for and trust in these figures, particularly in the case of teachers.

d. Whether the power was statutory or prescribed by formal rules and regulations determined whether the young people would obey authority figures.  Among all of the types of authority figures, the impact of this factor on the young people’s attitudes was most apparent in the case of police officers.

e. Young people’s trust in senior government officials also depends on the social context and social setting. In particular, young people will consider whether the analysis given by senior government officials is reasonable, whether there is adequate transparency, and whether the issue concerned is beneficial to them in this increasingly mature civil society.

5. 
Young people gradually start to question adults’ authority as they grow up.  Conflict is more obvious among the younger age group.  As self-control ability increases with age, young people will try to avoid direct conflict with authority figures.

6. 
The young interviewees were willing to communicate with their parents and supervisors at work in order to solve any conflicts.  Maintaining young people’s trust in these authority figures will help to enhance authority.

  

-End-

01 / 08 / 2011


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Youth Study Series No.46

Difficulties in Starting a Business: A Study on Youth Entrepreneurship

August 2011

 


Starting one’s own business has been the dream of many young people; yet not many are able to make this a reality, and even fewer are able run their businesses successfully.  The underlying reasons for this happening are worth discussing.

In the Millennium Development Goals Summits, the United Nations proposed four strategic measures to solving youth employment problems, with promoting and supporting youth entrepreneurship being one of them [1] .  To promote youth entrepreneurship became a global strategy with targets including the creation of jobs and the reduction of unemployment, while trying at the same time to be a great potential for economic and social development.

The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups (HKFYG) has always been concerned with the needs of young people in the employment area.  To encourage more young people to realize the ambition of starting their own businesses, HKFYG launched the “Youth Business Hong Kong” (YBHK) scheme in 2005, which not only provided financial access to successful applicants who lacked resources, but also assisted them in developing a network in the commercial sector with business coaching.  Until February 2011, YBHK received more than 1,500 young applicants, and successfully allocated funds to 157 in 97 business projects.

In the 2011-12 budget, the HKSAR borrowed overseas experience and proposed to study the feasibility of establishing a sustainable “Microfinance” scheme and the demand for such facilities in Hong Kong.  This was aimed at financially assisting people at the grass-root level who wished to start their own business.  It is believed that such a measure would benefit the youth by helping them to identify career objectives and promoting entrepreneurship as an alternative to traditional modes of employment.

Promoting youth entrepreneurship enhances social and economic development by injecting new energy to the commercial sector.  However, doing so requires a holistic way of thinking and strategy.  Certain areas are of particular interest in this study: What is the general attitude of the young people of Hong Kong towards entrepreneurship?  What factors do they consider before starting a business?  What are the major obstacles and challenges?  What are the barriers that stop them from being businessmen or women?  What kind of support would they need?  What are their opinions towards the government’s proposal of the “Microfinance” scheme?  What could we do to build a better environment favourable to youth entrepreneurship?  This study aims at examining all the above issues.

The targets interviewed in this study are young people aged 18 to 35.  To grasp a full picture of young people’s experiences in setting up businesses, respondents selected in the case studies are young people aged 18 to 35 during the time of their business start-up.  “Entrepreneurship” is understood as a process of seeking opportunity to create value[2] .  In this study, youth entrepreneurship generally refers to any activity done by an economic enterprise which targets creating wealth and accumulating profit.

This study is conducted through (1) a territory wide telephone survey, (2) case studies of enterprises started by young people and (3) in-depth interview with experts and academics.  Moreover, in order to deepen our understanding of young people’s opinions towards entrepreneurship and related matters, self-administrated questionnaires were distributed to and filled by young people who aspired to start their own businesses.

The telephone survey was conducted by random sampling from territory-wide registered household landlines.  523 Hong Kong youth aged between 18 and 34 were successfully polled, yielding a response rate of 57.4%, with a standard error within ±2.2%.

Case studies were conducted between March and May 2011, and a total of 20 interviewees from 18 companies were selected by referral from our service units and the “Youth Business Hong Kong” scheme.  Respondents were selected based on the following criteria: 1) they were running the business they started by themselves at least one year prior to the interview.  2) Aged between 18 and 35 when they started their businesses.  3) Accepted being interviewed voluntarily.

In-depth interviews with experts and academics were conducted between March and May 2011.  A total of 11 people were interviewed, among them academics, professionals, entrepreneurs, government officials and executives from non-governmental organizations.  Respondents were asked to share their observations and opinions about youth entrepreneurship in Hong Kong, as well as to give advice on how to promote youth entrepreneurship.

The self-administrated questionnaire survey was conducted by convenience sampling from three events related to entrepreneurship [3] .  Young participants of the events were invited to fill in and return the questionnaire on the day of the event.  202 valid questionnaires were received.

The major findings are as follows:

1. Many respondents indicated running a business to be a preferred career.  Meanwhile, there are signs of a revival in confidence to setting up a business.  The results showed that young people of Hong Kong generally take a positive stance towards entrepreneurship. 

2. The findings showed that while many young people approved of the idea of youth entrepreneurship, only a minority have put their ambitions in to practice.  The main considerations are a lack of capital, related business skills and knowledge.

3. Apart from evaluating external factors, personal qualifications and pre-requisites should also be taken into consideration for entrepreneurship.  The findings showed that personal networks, capital and innovative ideas are the decisive factors.

4. Entrepreneurship is not an easy path.  The findings showed that during the most difficult time of the business, persistence, faith, pro-active problem solving abilities, family support and professional guidance were factors essential for the success of a company.

5. Interviewees from the case studies revealed that the main reasons for a business failing were the following: (1) insufficient time spent on the business; (2) lack of entrepreneurial experience; (3) not enough understanding of the field; and (4) mistaken positioning and strategy.  Although they failed, they had learned valuable lessons which became important assets for themselves which would be useful when returning to the employment market.

6. Business requires space.  As information technology advances, on-line business has become a popular choice among young people.  But to young entrepreneurs who need real space in their business, high office / shop rent becomes a major barrier to their business plans.

7. The findings showed that experts, academics and young respondents held a positive opinion towards the “Microfinance” scheme proposed by the HKSAR in the budget 2011-12.  Besides, they opted that the positioning and the criteria of the scheme be clear and simplified.

-End-

Remark:
-------------------------

[1]. United Nations General Assembly, A/56/422:http://www.un.org/documents/ga/docs/56/a56422.pdf.  Four top priorities for all national action plans: employability, equal opportunities, entrepreneurship and employment creation.

[2]. Unrich Schoof. Stimulating Youth Entrepreneurship: Barriers and incentives to enterprise start-ups by young people. International Labour Office. Geneva. 2006.

[3]. The three events are: (1) “Tips for Starting Up a Business with Small Capital" seminar, organized by the Trade and Industry Department, co-organized by HKFYG.  (2) “Youth Business Hong Kong” scheme, first phase application 2011.  (3) “Entrepreneur Day” exhibition organized by Hong Kong Trade and Development Council.

01 / 12 / 2010


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Youth Study Series No.45

 

A Study on the Economic Dependence on Family among Young People in Hong Kong (II):
 Housing Problem

December 2010


According to the British scholar Gill Jones , ‘Childhood’ refers to a stage of economic dependence; ‘Adulthood’ is reaching a stage of economic independence; while ‘Adolescence’ is the period in-between.  Overseas studies  have shown that an increase of post-secondary educational opportunities, the instability of the employment market, a lack of an efficient youth housing policy, and various other economic and cultural factors, all contribute to the significant increase in economic dependency of young people, and delay their age of independent living.  This is manifest in the increasing number of young people continuing to live in the same place as their parents.

Based on overseas experience, the HKFYG conducted a similar study in 2006 to explore the situation of young people in Hong Kong.  The study reviewed the extent to which young people were economically dependent on their family and their views about achieving economic independence.  The results showed that young people in Hong Kong did not usually go through a linear transition from adolescence to adulthood, they tended to go back and forth between work and study in a pendulum pattern.  For instance, one may quit his job and go back to studying before he / she seeks another job.  This means that young people tended to move between the stage of economic dependence (during their studies) and independence (during work), resulting in a prolonged period of economic dependence as a whole.

The factors that are attributed to prolonged adolescence are complicated; it is usually associated with the increase in post-secondary educational opportunities, instability of the employment market and late marriage; but housing is a pivotal factor which decides whether or not a young person can lead an independent life completely.  In recent years, the rapid rise of the real estate market has made it very difficult for the young generation to buy or rent a flat.

In October, the HKSAR policy address 2010/11 presented the “My Home Purchase Plan”, which aroused much public discussion.  “Home” does not only refer to an individual asset or commodity, but a base that creates a sense of security and belonging to society.  By owning a home, an individual contributes towards enhancing social stability and harmony; it is also a pivotal factor for young people to be economically independent and make their transit to adulthood by leading an independent life. 

This study aims to deepen the understanding of young people’s economic dependency in relation to the housing plan and problem, and how such problems in turn affect them from achieving total independence.  A territory wide telephone survey, case study, focus group discussion and interviews with experts / academics are conducted.  Other related statistics are also being used, analyzed and integrated with the findings, so as to obtain an overview of the current situation and to provide recommendations to concerned parties.

Assisted by the Public Opinion Programme of the University of Hong Kong, the telephone survey was conducted between the 17th of August and the 31st of August, 2010.  By random sampling, 520 eligible young people aged between 18 and 39 were successfully polled, yielding a response rate of 69.5%, with a standard error within ±2.2%.

Case studies were conducted between August and October 2010.  A total of 12 respondents were selected by referral from our service units.  Each interview lasted about 60 minutes. All respondents were selected based on the following criteria: 1) They should be aged between 18 and 39; 2) They should be employed; and 3) They should want to lead an independent life.

Focus group discussions were held between September and October 2010.  A total of four groups were formed.  Three groups consisted of students and one group was composed of employed young people.

Interviews with experts / academics were conducted between August and October, 2010.  There were 5 interviewees in total, including a scholar, a non-executive director of the Urban Renewal Authority, representatives from the Federation of Public Housing Estates, the Lion Rock Institute and蝸居部落.  Respondents were asked to share their opinions and advice on how to tackle the housing problem faced by young people in Hong Kong.

The major findings are as follows:

1. Hong Kong young people tend to be more and more economically dependent on their family, and experience a prolonged stage of “Adolescence”.

2. Housing is essential towards the attainment of economic independence.  The study showed that the longer a young person lived dependently, the more he / she would be economically dependent on his / her family.  As they age, young people desire a higher degree of autonomy and the demand for their own home increases; however many are barred from independent living due to limited economic power.

3. It was found that young people with different income backgrounds all encountered housing problems in one way or another.  Three typical cases are identified as follows:  (1) Young people with a wage that just exceeds the income limit for a one-person applicant to Public Rental Housing (PRH).  (2) Young people with a wage not exceeding the Income and Asset Limits for White Form Applicants of the Home Ownership Scheme (HOS).  (3) Young people with a wage that exceeds the Income and Asset Limits for White Form Applicants of the HOS flat.

4. In the transition to total independence, young people in Hong Kong tend to experience a prolonged period of economic dependence on their family and these two situations have been identified: (1) Respondent is employed full-time and still living with his / her parents.  By doing so, family resources are shared more effectively, and family members can get mutual care from each other.  (2) Respondent has moved out of home but still receives economic support from the parents in various ways.  For instance, parents help their children with the down payment to purchase a flat or parents take care of their children’s daily needs, but do not require their financial contribution.

5. The survey found out that around 40% of the correspondents intended to purchase their own flats.  The majority regarded ‘the ability to afford down payment’ and ‘work stability’ as the deciding factors when purchasing one’s own flat.

6. Regarding the ‘My Home Purchase Plan’ presented by the government in the latest policy address, young respondents and experts / academics commented that it was a good attempt as it provided an alternative platform for prospective home buyers.  Yet the plan was also being criticized for a number of limitations, and was doubted for its effectiveness to tackle the pressing need for housing among young people.

 

-End-

01 / 09 / 2010


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Youth Study Series No.44

A Study on Cyber-bullying among Hong Kong Secondary Students

September 2010

 “Be Net-wise” was the Internet Education Campaign that started in 2009.  It was thoroughly supported by the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer and under the central coordination of the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups (the federation) along with the concerted efforts made by 14 other non-governmental organizations.  This research is part of that campaign and is thoroughly sponsored by the government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

 

With the advancement of Information technology, the world entered a new digital era and this brought revolution to our daily lives.  However, at the same time, this led to a lot of problems, and cyber-bullying was one of them brought to the attention of the globe.  Many foreign researches revealed that the problem of cyber-bullying has a trend to keep on increasing which in turn deserves our concern.

 

Compared with face-to-face bullying, cyber-bullying is no doubt comparatively a brand new phenomenon.  Neither do the public have in-depth discussions on this new phenomenon, nor are there any related researches.  To systematically and thoroughly understand the phenomenon of cyber-bullying in Hong Kong, the federation conducted the aforementioned research.

What is the nature and the extent of cyber-bullying among Hong Kong secondary students?  What are their emotional and behavioral reactions to cyber-bullying?  How can we stop cyber-bullying?  This research aims to answer the above questions through a questionnaire survey sampling Hong Kong secondary students, interviews with scholars and experts coupled with in-depth case interviews.  It is hoped that this research will provide a clearer picture of the issues concerned and may result in suggesting recommendations for a way forward.

In this research, “secondary students” refer to students studying F.1 to F.7 when conducting the survey.  Additionally, in this research, “cyber-bullying”, according to the scholar Bill Belsey, is defined as “involving the use of information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior by an individual or a group that is intended to harm others.”   Its form of expression includes photos and videos other than words.

Data collection in this research mainly includes a questionnaire survey and individual interviews to understand the features of cyber-bullying.  Since F.5 and F.7 students have had to deal with public examinations during our data-collecting period, readers should note that they were not included in our questionnaire sampling.

The questionnaire survey, which employed two layers of samples stratified by school and by class respectively, was conducted in the period between April and May, 2010.  A total of 2,981 valid self-administered questionnaires were collected from 18 secondary schools from junior and senior secondary students.

To have an in-depth understanding of the situation, the case studies were conducted in the period between April and May 2010.  A total of eighteen secondary students who had experienced some form of cyber-bullying over the past year were interviewed.  All the cases interviewed had to meet the following properties: (1) they had been cyber-bullied or had cyber-bullied others in the past one year, (2) they were secondary students when being interviewed, and (3) they volunteered to be interviewed.

Interviews with experts and academics were conducted in the period between April and May 2010.  A total of ten academics and experts were interviewed, among them were council members, educational practitioners, social workers and representatives from the Hong Kong Internet Society.

The major findings are as follows:

1. According to the data from latest surveys, the prevalence of cyber-bullying and the penetrative use of information technology show that the trend of cyber-bullying is on the rise.

2. From related literature, cases and interviews with experts and scholars as a whole, we find that cyber-bullying and face-to-face bullying greatly differ with regards to their forms of bullying, levels of hurt, roles to play, anonymity, coverage, convenience and problem solving.

3. This research reveals that the cyber-bullied, cyber-bullies and witnesses all have their own special features; also, it is easier for males and F.2 students to be cyber-bullies or cyber-bullied.  Suitable social services should be provided highlighting features of cyber-bullying in due time.

4. Based on the results of questionnaire survey, case studies and expert and scholar interviews, there are 5 features of cyber-bullying among Hong Kong secondary students: (1) the form of cyber-bullying is mainly rumour-spreading; (2) “social networking sites” are the major platform for cyber-bullying; (3) students usually cyber-bully others after school and use personal computers at home to do so; (4) cyber-bullies and the cyber-bullied are usually classmates; and (5) regard cyber-bullying as a kind of fun-making rather than a problem.

5. Cyber-bullying has greatly influenced the bullied which is worth our attention

6. This research finds that the responses to cyber-bullying of those cyber-bullied are different.  Some had to seek help from people around them or fight the bullies back.  Some had to do nothing since they did not regard it as a problem or were afraid of the family stopping them from surfing the Internet.

7. Focus on the characteristics of cyber-bullying, strengthen cross-discipline cooperation and communication, promoting the atmosphere of being aware of online security, setting clear reporting mechanisms, enhancing media literacy of the teenagers to prevent and stop cyber-bullying.


-End-

01 / 11 / 2009


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Youth Study Series No.43

A Study on the Awareness of the Rule of Law among University Students
in Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macao

November 2009

 


The rule of law is the foundation of our civilized society.  Although the social backgrounds and legal systems of Hong Kong, Macao, and mainland China differ greatly from one another, the promotion of legal education is highly significant to the continuity and inheritance of the rule of law.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) released “The Outline of the Plan for the Reform and Development of the Pearl River Delta (2008-2020)” (the Outline) on January 2009, which shows that the development of the Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao regions will further integrate.  It can be foreseen that the communication of the three regions will become more and more frequent.  People of the three regions, especially the young, will have more political, economic, cultural and social interactions.  As a result, it is really necessary for young people to know and understand more about each others legal system.

This Study tried to analyse and compare knowledge and attitudes of the awareness of the rule of law, including concepts on the rule of law, adherence to law, confidence in the judiciary system and opinions on legal education among university students in Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macao through a comparative study.  University students in the three regions were invited to fill in structural questionnaires online or at school themselves.

The survey was conducted in October 2009.  A total of 2078 valid questionnaires were received of which 654 were from Guangzhou, 821 from Hong Kong and 603 from Macao respectively.

The major findings are as follows:

1. Many university students in Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macao interviewed agreed that the rule of law is essential for the stability of society.  They regarded the role of the law to be important towards maintaining social order.  It showed that young people in the three regions generally recognized that the rule of law is the foundation of a civilized society.

2. Respondents in Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macao had different opinions on whether judiciary independence exists in their own society.  Compared with those in Guangzhou and Macao, Hong Kong university students had a higher proportion who believed in the judiciary independence of their society.

3. Respondents in the three regions manifested a high law-abiding awareness and agreed that adherence to the law is the responsibility of citizens.  However, their opinions differed regarding whether they would abide by unreasonable laws.  It shows that respondents’ adhering to the law is reliant on whether they respect and understand the spirit of legislation.

4. Compared with respondents in Guangzhou and Macao, respondents in Hong Kong had higher confidence in their judiciary system.  Moreover, respondents in the three regions believed, to some extent, that the law can maintain social justice.

5. Compared with respondents in Guangzhou and Macao, respondents in Hong Kong had a higher trust in local judges, lawyers and law enforcers.  Young people’s confidence in the judiciary has a lot to do with the quality of legal practitioners, which means that the training of legal practitioners becomes more critical.

6. Compared with respondents in Guangzhou and Macao, respondents in Hong Kong admitted that they had less legal knowledge.  They also gave lower points while assessing the legal education promoted by the government.  There is lots of room for promoting legal education, especially in Hong Kong.


-End-

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July 2016

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