Volume 12, Issue No. 2 (Serial No. 24) Finding a Way Forward for Youth Employment After the Financial Crisis

Journal of Youth Studies

July 2009

Volume 12 . Issue No. 2

Serial No. 24


Feature : Finding a Way Forward for Youth Employment After the Financial Crisis

The Employment Difficulties of and the Supporting Strategies for the Low-educated, Low-skilled and Low-income Youth - Jimmy C. T. WONG Howard C. H. CHENG
Jimmy C. T. WONG
Project Director, Wanco Consultants Limited
Howard C. H. CHENG
Professor, Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

[Abstract] The rise of the low-educated, low-skilled, and low-income youth in Hong Kong must be addressed as a multi-faceted issue; the “blaming the victim” approach is far from constructive. For the purpose of tackling youth (un)employment problems, on top of the initiatives taken by the government to nurture social partnerships and private-public sectors collaborations, active labour market policies can play a part in creating pathways to decent work for disadvantaged youths.
Keywords: youth unemployment; active labour market policy
The Employment and Training Enhancement Strategy for Young People in the Midst of the Financial Tsunami - Matthew K. C. CHEUNG
Matthew K. C. CHEUNG
Secretary for Labour and Welfare

[Abstract] The worst-ever financial tsunami in a century has sent shockwaves across the globe and taken a toll on our economy. It has, in particular, put huge strains on the youth employment situation. In this connection, the HKSARG will continue to pursue a multipronged strategy to enhance and consolidate various training and employment services for our young people in order to strengthen their capacity and self-confidence, to encourage employers to offer more internships to help them gain work experience, and to step up postemployment support to help them adapt to their jobs. We will also closely monitor changes in the job market and initiate supplementary measures when necessary.
Keywords: youth employment; training; internships; postemployment support; job market
_Riding the Winds and Cleaving the Waves amidst the Financial Tsunami - Veronica TAM
Veronica TAM
Director of Student Services, Lingnan University

[Abstract] The financial tsunami started in September 2008 and soon spread all over the world. University students graduating in 2009 may therefore experience difficulties in job hunting. In the face of such adversity at the start of their careers, fresh graduates should take positive actions (e.g., undertake further studies) or consider options (e.g., take a part-time or summer job, or join internship programmes) that will enable them to accumulate work experiences and life skills. This paper outlines views on internship programmes, quoting a small-scale study on how students from Lingnan University perceived their internship experiences, and discusses the possible effects of internship programmes amidst the financial tsunami.
Keywords: internship; out-of-classroom practical experience; university students; collaboration between university and employers; financial tsunami
A Review of the Practice and Strategies of the Youth Employment Supporting Service--the Experiences of the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, the 2003 SARS Outbreak, and the 2008 Global Financial Tsunami - Gary L. S. TANG Chi Wai CHEUNG
Gary L. S. TANG
Supervisor, The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups
Unit In-charge, Youth Employment Network, The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups

[Abstract] The overall unemployment rate has remained high during the past 10 years. Youth unemployment especially is a very serious problem that requires the society to invest a huge amount of resources. This article applies the concepts of human capital, demand insufficiency, social capital, and life planning to summarise Hong Kong’s strategies and experiences in handling and helping our young people to face and overcome the employment problems. It is hoped that the government, public organizations, private enterprise, and nongovernmental organizations can maintain close partnerships and provide life-planning education and skills training; create short-term posts; support self-employment and business start-ups; cultivate social enterprise expertise; and establish social networks to help young people solve the employment problems that they face.
Keywords: youth employment; youth employment policy; youth employment service; youth employment support; youth unemployment
Hong Kong’s Cultural and Creative Industries During the Last Eight Years: Reflections on Their Relevance to the Employment Market - Kin Wai MOK
Kin Wai MOK
Consultant, Cheung Kong Centre for Creative Industries

[Abstract] This paper reviews the economic performance of Hong Kong’s cultural and creative industries, and its contribution to the local economy. It also examines the salient features of creative manpower as well as the structure of the labour market. Analysis of these areas will help policymakers to have a better understanding of the dynamic relationship between the creative industries and the labour market, and to set the right policy measures. The paper proposes some theoretical premises about the constituents of the creative manpower market, in the hope of filling the gaps in this research topic.
Keywords: cultural and creative industries; creative talent; human capital; organizational structure of enterprises
Challenges and Opportunities for Young Entrepreneurs After the Financial Tsunami - Ken WONG
2009 National President, Junior Chamber International Hong Kong

[Abstract] What are the implications of the financial tsunami for young entrepreneurs in Hong Kong? Is it a challenge or an opportunity? Does Hong Kong provide the essential conditions for the development of entrepreneurs? Which kind of industry and which market should they target if the creative young generation is willing to take risks and set up their own businesses? The answers can be found in this article. Young entrepreneurs should be confident and determined to learn new knowledge and face challenges as they pave their way forward in the knowledge economy in the midst of the financial tsunami.
Keywords: Hong Kong; entrepreneur; opportunities; challenges; creativity
Exploring Alternatives for Youth Development: Employment or Social Entrepreneurship - Jane C. Y. LEE
Jane C. Y. LEE
Deputy Director, HKU School of Professional and Continuing Education
Director, Hong Kong Policy Research Institute

[Abstract] This paper briefly outlines definitions and examples of social entrepreneurship with the objective of urging young people to adopt a new mode of thinking in their career development. The paper argues that a career should not just be confined to employment but can also include entrepreneurship. Young people should consider the option of setting up their own businesses and combine this with passion and innovation to tackle social problems.
Keywords: social enterprise; entrepreneurship; innovation

Pan-Chinese Societies Exchange : Interventions for Adolescents with Learning Disabilities

I Think, Therefore I Learn to Read: A Cognitive-Based Approach to Remediating Decoding Difficulties in Learning-Disabled Children in Singapore - Joo Lian KHENG Lay Keow ANG Yoon Phaik OOI Choon Guan LIM Daniel S. S. FUNG
Joo Lian KHENG
Senior Educational Psychologist, Autism Clinic, Institute of Mental Health, Singapore
Lay Keow ANG
Senior Specialist Teacher, COPES, Institute of Mental Health, Singapore
Yoon Phaik OOI
Senior Counselor, Autism Clinic, Institute of Mental Health, Singapore
Choon Guan LIM
Associate Consultant, Institute of Mental Health, Singapore
Daniel S. S. FUNG
Senior Consultant and Chief, Institute of Mental Health, Singapore

[Abstract] This study examines the effectiveness of an Auditory-Visual Interactive Decoding (AVID) reading programme for children with specific learning disabilities and other comorbid disorders. A total of 52 children, who were referred to the Children’s One-Stop Psychoeducational Services (COPES), a psychoeducational service centre within an outpatient child psychiatric clinic, participated in the study. A variety of standardised and informal tests were conducted at pre- and post- treatment. Based on their pretreatment test scores, these children were divided into three groups: i) Short-term booster (n = 30), ii) 16 to 26 hours of intervention (n = 14), and iii) 30 to 42 hours of intervention (n = 8). Analyses from t-tests indicated significant improvements on the following tests: TOWRE (Test of Word Reading Efficiency) Sight Word Efficiency, AVID nonword, and AVID sentence recall. The preliminary findings from this study suggest that the AVID programme improves the reading skills of children with comorbid behavioural and learning disabilities.
Keywords: specific learning disabilities; learning disorders; reading skills; decoding difficulties; attention difficulties
Literacy Enhancement and Peer Support (LEAPS): Prevention and Intervention of Reading Difficulties - Pui-wan CHENG Sarah S. H. LUK Yan-shing PANG
Pui-wan CHENG
Associate Professor, Department of Educational Psychology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Sarah S. H. LUK
School Development Officer, Department of Educational Psychology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Yan-shing PANG
Coordinator of Learning Support Team, Buddhist Tak Kwong Middle School

[Abstract] During the past decade, the issue of reading difficulties has received increasing attention in Hong Kong. A recent Education Bureau mandate calls for the development of effective instructional methods based on the 3-tier model to address the diverse learning needs of our students. Following a thorough review of the relevant research literature, we attempted to utilise a peer support learning system both as a Tier 1 preventive reading programme for beginning readers and as a Tier 2 supplementary remediation programme for struggling adolescent learners. Our investigative efforts indicate that the proposed peer support reading scheme shows promise as a preventive procedure for reducing reading failure in beginning readers. However, turning this scheme into a feasible and effective intervention for older students remains a challenge to be resolved by further consolidation and investigations.
Keywords: reading difficulties; peer support; three-tier model; prevention and intervention
The Diagnosis and Intervention for Chinese Development Dyslexia - Xiangping LIU Min LIN
Xiangping LIU
School of Psychology, Beijing Normal University

[Abstract] Dyslexia is one of the major types of learning disability and has been a major focus in this area for a long time. The identification standards for Chinese development dyslexia are introduced in this paper. The latest research findings in cognitive training, reading self-monitoring, sensory integration training, behavioural interventions, and integrated intervention on children with Chinese development dyslexia are summarized analytically. Some of the key existing problems are noted, such as the inconsistency among definitions of dyslexia and among the means by which it is identified, and the lack of special interventions with regard to the cognitive mechanism of Chinese development dyslexia in China.
Keywords: dyslexia; Chinese development dyslexia; diagnosis; intervention
The Current Educational Services for Students with Learning Disabilities in Taiwan - Li-Yu HUNG Hsiu-Fen CHEN Wen-Hung LIEN Hsin-Yi CHEN
Professor, National Taiwan Normal University
Hsiu-Fen CHEN
Research Assistant, National Taiwan Normal University
Wen-Hung LIEN
Section Chief of Special Education, Taipei Municipal Dali High School
Hsin-Yi CHEN
Professor, National Taiwan Normal University

[Abstract] The concept of learning disabilities was introduced into Taiwan more than 30 years ago. Their development can be divided into four phases: Emergence (before 1984), Foundation (1984-1995), Blooming (1996-2004), and Integration (2005-). This article focuses on the practice of learning disabilities education in the last decade. The new definition and identification of learning disabilities, and the trend of an increasing prevalence of students with learning disabilities in Taiwan are introduced. The evidence-supported effective interventions for Chinese reading, composition, mathematical problem solving, and social interaction of students with learning disabilities are unearthed from the past 10 years of studies in Taiwan. Finally, the future expectations for the development of learning disabilities in Taiwan on the basis of current practices are outlined.
Keywords: learning disabilities; prevalence in school; evidence-based; effective intervention; Taiwan
Macao’s Foreign Learning-Disabled Students: A Growing Cross-Cultural Community in Need - Jennifer CAMULLI
Jennifer CAMULLI
Educational Therapist, Macao Child Development Association

[Abstract] Meeting the needs of students with learning disabilities is challenging for every community. When foreign student numbers suddenly increase significantly, so too does the number of foreign learning-disabled students. This can present many challenges to a small and culturally unique city such as Macao. From full-scale psychoeducational testing and standardised diagnostic assessments to specially trained therapists in learning disabilities support, these services are pivotal in ensuring students with learning disabilities are given opportunities to flourish in an educational environment and achieve their potential. This paper is a case study of the Macao Child Development Association and the unique challenges that it faces in trying to support foreign students with special needs and/or learning disabilities.
Keywords: Macao Child Development Association; learning disabilities; special needs; Macao

Professional Exchange

Adolescent Pregnancy: Choices, Values, and Attitudes - Siu Fung LIN
Siu Fung LIN
Assistant Professor, Department of Applied Social Studies (Psychology), City University of Hong Kong

[Abstract] A total of 3,335 full-time students aged 12 to 21 years were asked to select from among 3 choices if faced with an unplanned pregnancy: 22.5% chose abortion, 53.4% chose to be parents, and 24.2% chose adoption. Intrinsic and extrinsic factors were considered for each of these choices, and significant differences were found amongst the 3 choices. Interestingly, the choices of the young people were not consistent with their expressed values and attitudes. Educational level had an effect on sexual experience, sexual efficacy, and the use of contraceptives. Overall, the findings suggested that pregnancy among adolescents was a result of unpreparedness, separation between process and aims, ignorance, and neglecting consequences.
Keywords: adolescence; adolescent pregnancy; sex values; sex attitudes; sex education
Globalisation and the Exploitation of African Youth: The Need for Good Governance in Nigeria
Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Sociology, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

[Abstract] This study was designed to investigate the nexus between globalisation and the exploitation of African youth, with a view to highlighting the necessity for good governance in curbing this menace in Nigeria. The specific objectives were, therefore, as follows: to present youth vulnerability and exploitation as inherent features of globalisation; to examine views on the roles of good governance in checking the youth exploitation caused by globalisation; to document the various prevailing dimensions of this exploitation; to identify the sites where exploitation occurs; and to assess the implications for good governance in Nigeria. The methodology employed was basically an assemblage of qualitative data derived from focus group discussions (FGDs). The study revealed, among other things, that globalisation is a modernised form of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, reflecting the perceived socioeconomic and political gaps that exist between the North and South. The Western sex industry, ritualist houses, sweatshops, and political campaign grounds were among the sites identified as places where youth exploitation occurs.
Keywords: globalisation; African youth; vulnerability; exploitation, good governance.
A Qualitative Study of Male Youth Experiences of Viewing Pornography - Day WONG
Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Hong Kong Baptist University

[Abstract] Using findings from a qualitative study, this paper examines male youth experiences of viewing pornography, including their first exposure to pornography, the functions and meanings of pornography, and the impact of pornography on their intimate heterosexual relationships. It is generally assumed that pornography corrupts youths. This overlooks the fact that youths are not passive receivers of media content. Rather, they are active agents who select, filter, negotiate, and challenge the meanings of pornographic texts. The effect of pornography should be seen as multiple rather than single. Only through a scrutiny of the context in which pornography is used can we attain a complicated understanding of the multiple and variegated meanings of pornography.
Keywords: pornography; sexism; sexual myths; masculinity; qualitative research
A Study of the Social Cognition of Sichuan Rural Youth with regard to the New Countryside Development - Ruolan XU Dong LI
Ruolan XU
Professor, Psychological Health Education Center, Chengdu University of Technology
Dong LI
Lecturer, College of Communication and Art, Chengdu University of Technology

[Abstract] The social cognition of rural youth is the foundation of the development of the new socialist countryside. Through the results of a survey, this paper analyses the social cognitive characteristics of Sichuan rural youth in terms of policy cognition, social anticipation, social sentiment, and so forth. The authors raise some key issues related to this subject.
Keywords: social cognition; rural youth; new countryside development