Over 50s Intern For New Careers

To encourage the latent work force to enter the labour market, the Employees Retraining Board's Post-50 Internship Programme assists individuals aged 50 or above by equipping them with new skills to re-enter the workforce or change careers.

 

About 800 people have signed up for the programme in the 2023-24 year, with about 150 participants being offered internships and joining experience activities.

 

Paula Poon and Wendy Ma signed up for the programme and took part in its Work Experience Day at a hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui to learn about careers in the hotel industry.

 

The hotel, which is one of the participating companies, organised the Work Experience Day to introduce the participants to its facilities, working environment as well as full-time and part-time job vacancies.

They also gave the participants a tour of the hotel to give them an insight into the different work roles and arranged on-site job interviews.

 

Confidence boost

Ms Poon, who previously worked in clerical positions, said the programme has opened her eyes to the possibility of a hotel career.

 

“I did not realise there were so many roles for people over 50. It gives me hope that mature workers are not only limited to jobs related to the elderly or healthcare.”

 

While Ms Ma was pleased to discover that on-the-job training was available to help ease her into a completely new career.

 

“I have no experience in the hotel industry. This hotel offers training for employees, so I am not worried now and believe I can join the sector.”

 

The Employees Retraining Board’s Post-50 Internship Programme assists unemployed or career-transitioning individuals aged 50 or above gain firsthand experience through short-term internships or work experience.

 

Through taking part in the programme, participants gain a better understanding of the latest job market trends and industry developments, in addition to building up their confidence and adjusting their mindset for changing careers or re-entering the job market.

 

Career change

Denise Chan left the workforce a decade ago to take care of her family. She interned under the programme, assisting a charity in organising exhibitions and community projects.   

 

After completing the internship, she was offered part-time employment. With over 20 years’ experience in human resources management, Ms Chan said the programme helped her make a successful career transition.

 

“When I was working full-time, I was under a lot of stress. But now, working part-time makes me very happy. I can continue to communicate with people in the community and stay connected to society.”

 

New mindset

Ada Lee also secured an internship through the programme as an exhibition docent at the same charity. Taking a break from the workforce to become a full-time homemaker for more than 10 years, Ms Lee credits the programme with helping to boost her confidence and adjust her mindset.

 

“I have discovered that besides earning money, there are issues that society needs to address, such as protecting the environment. It has broadened my horizons.”

 

There are about 50 participating organisations covering around 20 industries, including public utilities, social services, information and communication technology, business as well as property management supporting the programme by offering more than 100 internship positions.

 

After completing their internships, participants get an allowance from the Labour Department. For participants who achieved an attendance rate of 80% or above, they will also receive a bonus awarded by the participating organisations.

 

The Employees Retraining Board hopes to promote social recognition of people aged 50 or above and encourage employers to hire older jobseekers through the programme.

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