Date
20 January 2017
Nearly 5,000 jobs for those aged 50 or above were up for grabs at SAGE's job expo. A 66-year-old man surnamed Ho (inset right), 66, sought work as a telephone interviewer. Photos: SAGE, Ming Pao
Nearly 5,000 jobs for those aged 50 or above were up for grabs at SAGE's job expo. A 66-year-old man surnamed Ho (inset right), 66, sought work as a telephone interviewer. Photos: SAGE, Ming Pao

Seniors start new careers in retirement

At a job expo organized by the Hong Kong Society for the Aged (SAGE) on Tuesday, 49 organizations offered a total of nearly 5,000 jobs for those aged 50 or above.

Some seniors find their lives boring after retirement, and many of them hope to rejoin the workforce.

Elder-Friendly Employment Practice (EFEP), a program by SAGE, has helped seniors between 50 and 79 to re-enter the working population in recent years.

On display at the expo were vacancies for jobs such as clerks, bar tenders, tailors and telephone interviewers.

Technical jobs included full-time electronic and computer technician, with a monthly salary of HK$20,000.

The monthly income of professionals such as a full-time physiotherapist could reach HK$63,000, Ming Pao Daily reported Wednesday.

One of the attendees, surnamed Ho, 66, was a manager in a company’s marketing and sales team.

Although Ho has been retired for two years, he said he is healthy and fit enough to continue to work.

“I don’t want to be left behind,” he said.

“Life in retirement is not all about waiting to die.

“Why not work again and share my experience with others?”

Another senior at the expo, surnamed Lam, was a taxi driver 6 years ago.

Lam, 71, told the newspaper he has been keeping his hands in his pockets for the last few years.

“Although I still have a decent life, I want to keep up with changes more,” he said.

“If anything happens in the future, I can still work”.

Lam said his life is boring, so he often goes to the library or joins day tours to kill time.

Hong Kong does not have a statutory retirement age.

Leung Yee-mei, chief executive of SAGE, said most Hongkongers retire at the age of about 60.

However, they often feel bored and insecure when the “honeymoon” period of retirement is over.

Flexible working hours suit the working silver-haired population, Leung said, “as they can work while enjoy their retirement”.

In fact, because seniors often make more stable and more responsible employees than young people, many employers are willing to employ them.

However, some firms are worried that premiums for labor insurance may be higher for elderly employees.

Leung said not all insurance companies charge a higher premium for workers who are seniors.

For example, the insurance premium for SAGE employees who are seniors is the same as for the other staff.

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BT/DY/FL

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