About 100 Filipino domestic workers have graduated from a caregivers training program in Hong Kong. Philippines Labor Attache Jalilo Dela Torre congratulated the graduates at a ceremony at the Bayanihan Centre in Kennedy Town on Hong Kong Island, hongkongnews.com.hk reported.

“All over the world, societies are aging so your services will be very much in demand. It’s very timely for you and I congratulate you,” he said.

The training program, which was organized by Active Global Specialized Caregivers, was conducted every weekend from 10 am to 2 pm and lasted for about five months. Those who joined the program were workers already taking care of the elderly and those who wanted to upgrade their skills.

Active Global has recruited about 200 caregivers from the Philippines to work in Hong Kong, although they still fall under the category of foreign domestic workers.

Steven Chiu, Active Global’s HK Branch Manager, said the caregivers could earn from HK$5,000 (US$638) to “almost HK$7,000,” adding that some workers have additional skills, such as long years of experience or speaking Mandarin or Cantonese, and could earn as much as HK$8,000 a month.

The standard salary for a domestic worker in Hong Kong is HK$4,410. Chiu added that it cost a lot more, from HK$8,000 to HK$20,000 a month, to put elderly people in nursing homes in the city.

Law Chi-kwong, the Labour and Welfare Secretary, said Hong Kong would need a total 600,000 domestic helpers in the next 30 years due to the city’s aging population.

Read: Hong Kong people prefer domestic workers caring for parents