A 39-year-old Pakistani has become the first ethnic minority to receive a taxi driver license in Hong Kong.
Shehzad Mamood Khan got his license after a two-month training program for ethnic minorities organized by a service organization.
Khan moved to Hong Kong more than 10 years ago.
He makes HK$30,000 (US$3,900) a month as a construction worker but has been looking to earn extra money for his family of six, Apple Daily reports.
Khan speaks fluent Cantonese, English and Urdu and describes himself as a hard worker and self-reliant.
“I have never thought of applying for social security,” he said.
In October, Khan joined a taxi driver training course organized by Hong Kong Christian Service (HKCS) which meant he had to study every night after work.
“I didn’t think of giving up. I had to pass the exam no matter what,” he said.
Khan made it on his second attempt while many typically take four to five tries before passing the test.
He will make less money driving a taxi than working full-time on construction sites but he looks forward to some extra cash.
Chan Ming-san, a taxi company director and one of the initiators of the program, said most taxi driver courses are taught in Chinese and Cantonese.
“If you’re an ethnic minority and don’t have working experience or are not proficient in Cantonese, you will have a problem finding a job,” Khan said.
“A taxi driver license gives them [ethnic minorities] a chance.”
Khan hopes he is paving the way for others, news website hk01.com reports.
HKCS is planning to subsidize 91 ethnic minorities for the taxi driver training program.
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