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Department to hire 18,000 field workers
Nora Tong
update on Saturday, January 22, 2011
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The Census and Statistics Department is looking for more than 18,000 students and teachers to join an army of temporary field workers for the 2011 Population Census.

Set up in 1961, the census is taken every 10 years, while a by-census occurs every five years. The upcoming survey will be carried out from June 30 to August 2.

The department is looking for 13,110 enumerators, who will go door-to-door to collect information from households. They will be paid HK$7,880 upon completion of their task. Form Six students, or those enrolled in full-time accredited degrees or subdegree programmes in Hong Kong, can apply.

A total of 1,470 checkers will be hired to visit selected households to confirm the accuracy of information collected by enumerators and verify self-enumerated questionnaires.

The positions are open to students attending local, full-time accredited degree programmes, and are paid HK$9,486. A further 640 centre assistants - who will be paid HK$7,047 - will be recruited to operate computer systems to handle returned questionnaires, perform administrative and clerical duties, and provide receipts and dispatch services.

Form Six students, or those enrolled in full-time accredited degrees or subdegree courses, are eligible to apply. The department will also take on 1,050 chief enumerators, who will train enumerators and centre assistants, supervise a team, and ensure that the fieldwork is performed properly. Paid HK$16,200, they will be aided by 2,030 assistant chief enumerators, who will get HK$12,474.

Both positions are open to teachers working in local primary or secondary schools. They should have a good knowledge of written and spoken Chinese and English. Travel expenses will be reimbursed for all positions, but there is no meal allowance.

Desmond Sam, statistician for census planning with the department, says census workers will attend a four- to 16-hour training course from next month to early July. Participants will learn about the background, design and operational arrangements of the census, and the duties, responsibilities and techniques of different positions.

Sam adds that a "train-the-trainer" approach will be adopted to handle the large number of workers. Department staff will train chief enumerators, assistant chief enumerators and checkers.

Applicants for all positions should be mature and independent, Sam says. "All [census] workers have to equip themselves with necessary knowledge and skills in order to solicit co-operation and build confidence in households."

He adds that the opportunity to serve the community will allow participants to gain invaluable work experiences. "By interacting with different people, [they] will know more about our society."

For details, including application deadlines, go to http://www.census2011.gov.hk.

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