2014 Policy Address Support the Needy Let Youth Flourish Unleash Hong Kong's Potential
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Support for Ethnic Minorities

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Support for Ethnic Minorities

Support for Ethnic Minorities

Helping our Ethnic Minority Community

Many ethnic minorities (EMs) have been in Hong Kong
for generations, and have played important roles in shaping Hong Kong’s history.
EMs have traditionally settled into the Hong Kong family well,
and are very much part of the community.
The Government is introducing enhanced measures in education,
employment and community outreach to help EMs,
especially the younger generation and newcomers,
integrate into the community more smoothly.



Provide comprehensive support for EM students in learning the Chinese Language

  • Non-Chinese speaking (NCS) students may pursue different pathways according to their aspirations and Chinese proficiency. From the 2014/15 school year, the Education Bureau will provide the “Chinese Language Curriculum Second Language Learning Framework” with supporting learning and teaching materials. It is tailor-made to help NCS students in primary and secondary schools learn Chinese as a second language with a view to bridging to mainstream Chinese Language classes.

  • Provide an Applied Learning (Chinese Language) subject to be pegged at the Qualifications Framework (QF) Levels 1-3 at senior secondary level. The results will be recorded in the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE).

  • NCS students may also join a subsidy scheme for sitting Chinese examinations under the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE), International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) and General Certificate of Education (GCE). The results are internationally recognised and have also been accepted as alternative Chinese qualifications for consideration for admission to local post-secondary institutions and universities.

  • The schemes previously funded by the Community Care Fund to provide financial assistance for non-school-attending EMs and new arrivals from the Mainland from low-income families for taking language examinations and for participating in dedicated language courses of the Employees Retraining Board (ERB) have been regularised.

  • Develop Vocational Chinese Language courses recognised under the QF for NCS school leavers.

  • Significantly increase the additional funding support from 2014/15 school year to schools to facilitate the implementation of the new learning framework, representing an increase of about 200% over 2013/14. (From 2013/14 school year, additional funding for school-based support for NCS students has been provided to all schools admitting 10 or more NCS students instead of the so-called “designated schools” only.) Around 15 000 students will benefit directly from this measure.

  • Launch the Professional Enhancement Grant Scheme to enhance Chinese teachers’ professional capability in teaching Chinese as a second language in the first quarter of 2014. It is estimated that during the first three years of implementation, about 450 teachers would benefit from the Scheme. At the same time, more training courses and experience sharing opportunities on teaching Chinese as a second language would be provided for 2 000 teachers from about 500 schools admitting NCS students.

  • Encourage NCS parents to let their children start learning Chinese at the pre-primary stage. There are district-based projects/programmes to motivate NCS students aged 3-9 to learn Chinese through fun activities. NCS parents are also welcome to attend the Summer Bridging Programme with their children entering Primary 1, or progressing to Primary 2, 3 or 4.


Khan SaqibWhen I first came to Hong Kong and was admitted midterm of Primary One at a nearby school, I spoke only Urdu. Luckily, my Chinese teacher helped me to learn more Chinese vocabulary after school by listening to the radio and watching TV, which I liked very much. I am so happy that I have caught up with my Chinese classmates. Now, I’m studying in the mainstream classroom and will move onto Secondary One next year." Khan Saqib





Enhance job opportunities for EMs in public and private sectors

Government jobs

  • Implement measures to ensure that EMs have equal access to job opportunities in the Government. Such measures include reviewing and adjusting the Chinese language proficiency requirements and recruitment formats of relevant Government jobs on the basis that the adjusted requirements/formats will continue to allow the satisfactory performance of duties.

  • The recruitment test for Police Constables has been modified to require candidates to write English in addition to Chinese for situations simulating police operations. Extra marks will be awarded to candidates who possess foreign/ethnic language skills.

  • EMs are being engaged as Police Community Liaison Assistants to enhance liaison with EM communities. To date, there are 15 Police Community Liaison Assistant positions in 14 Police Districts.

  • The recruitment format for Correctional Services Department’s Assistant Officer II has been modified by replacing the Chinese written test with a group interview.

  • Other disciplinary services, such as Government Flying Service and Fire Services Department, are taking measures to adjust the Chinese language proficiency requirements or recruitment formats.


Mohammad Heina RizwanI first came to know about police work through the Yuen Long Junior Police Call and later took up the job of a Police Community Liaison Assistant. I am glad to share my experience with the non-ethnic Chinese community and play an active role in community engagement work.." Mohammad Heina Rizwan

Private sector jobs

  • All Labour Department (LD) job centres have special counters to provide EMs with job referral services. Tailor-made briefings are organised regularly to help EMs understand the local employment market and improve job search skills. EMs can meet Employment Advisors to obtain advice and customised employment services.
  • LD canvasses suitable vacancies for EMs and organises job fairs to help EMs secure employment.
  • ERB offers dedicated training courses in English for EMs to meet their employment needs. To assist EMs enter the employment market, ERB training bodies also provide placement follow-up services to those who have completed full-time placement-tied courses.
  • The Construction Industry Council (CIC) has promotional activities and collaborates with the construction industry to stage job fairs to attract new EM entrants, and attracts in-service EM construction workers to attend training courses to enhance skills.


Gado JazzI was attracted to join the training course for metal scaffolding organised by the CIC last year. I have really learned much about skills in metal scaffolding. Now, I am a registered semi-skilled worker and get a lot of satisfaction from my job." Gado Jazz



Community Outreach


Strengthen support services for EMs to help them better integrate into the community

  • Set up a new support service centre for EMs in Kwai Tsing to provide tailor-made classes, counselling and integration programmes. This will take to six the number of support service centres, as well as two sub-centres for EMs.

  • Set up youth units in all support service centres and sub-centres to provide dedicated programmes such as sports and cultural activities to help the personal development of EM youths.

  • Implement a youth ambassador scheme to recruit around six full-time and 30 part-time ambassadors familiar with EM cultures and languages and with a similar background
    to reach out to EM youths to share their experience, offer advice and make referrals as necessary.

  • Home Affairs Department will strengthen manpower support to implement these initiatives by recruiting five additional staff familiar with EM cultures and languages.

  • The Junior Police Call (JPC), which already has more than 1 900 EM members, will continue to encourage EM youth to join and help nourish their leadership skills and instill positive values through JPC activities and training. The target is to increase the number of EM members to 2 500 in five years.


Raju ShamdasaniCantonese was a major challenge for me when I first arrived in Hong Kong several years ago. I discovered the Support Service Centre for EMs from a TV programme and was immediately attracted to their services. I have taken Cantonese and computer classes there. The services have helped me greatly in my daily life and I am now able to communicate with local Chinese people in simple Cantonese." Raju Shamdasani





Ensure access to public health services by EMs is not denied due to language barriers

  • Interpretation services for EM patients are now available in 17 languages in public hospitals and clinics under the Hospital Authority.


Dr PoonWhen I saw patients from ethnic minority groups, talking with them was sometimes difficult because of language barrier. I was pleased to find that once an interpreter was arranged either for phone or face-to-face service, communication became much easier. I could understand their health condition better and they also understood the treatment well." Dr Poon



Public Education


Strengthen mutual understanding and promote anti-discrimination

  • Co-operate with RTHK to produce TV documentary series and school outreach programme to help the public understand the cultures and customs of different ethnicities.

  • Set up a dedicated EM Taskforce under the Equal Opportunities Commission to promote anti-discrimination.


Mildred Au-yeungAs the HR Director for a dynamic international media group, I clearly recognise the benefits and value of having staff from a diverse ethnic background. We firmly support the Race Discrimination Ordinance that prohibits discriminating behaviour against ethnic minorities." Mildred Au-yeung


Looking ahead…
The Government is investing an additional $200 million
a year to implement the above programmes.
With concerted efforts, we aim to unleash the potential
of EM members of our community and make Hong Kong
a truly inclusive society for all.

Please contact the concerned departments for further information.

Education: 3540 7447 (Education Bureau)
Employment: 2810 2639 (Civil Service Bureau)
2860 2860 (Hong Kong Police Force)
2717 1771 (Labour Department)
182 182    (Employees Retraining Board)
2100 9101 (Construction Industry Council)
Community Outreach: 2835 1747 (Home Affairs Department)
2860 6157 (Hong Kong Police Force)
Health: 3509 8765 (Food and Health Bureau)
Public Education: 2810 2059 (Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau)



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