14 APR, 2023
“Greater Bay Area Youth Employment Scheme” Impact Study Phase 3 Report
Written by : City Chu, CK Law, David Lai
The “Greater Bay Area Youth Employment Scheme” (hereafter the Scheme) was launched by the HKSAR Government (hereafter the Government) in 2021 to encourage enterprises with operations in both Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area (hereafter the GBA) to recruit and deploy local university / tertiary institutiongraduates to work in the Mainland cities of the GBA. In view of the positive feedback collected by the Government from the enterprises and the employees under the Scheme, the Government announced the regularisation of the Scheme in the 2022 Policy Address, and its details on 1st March 2023. As of late 2022 and early 2023, the employees were nearing the completion of the pilot Scheme (some of them had already completed it).
To assess the effectiveness of the Scheme, MWYO launched a longitudinal research study in four phases in September 2021. This report is for phase 3, conducted between November and December 2022. The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce (hereafter HKGCC) distributed the online employer questionnaire to its members and its members distributed the employee online questionnaire to their employees. Also, HKGCC arranged in-depth interviews with the employers.
We received responses from 88 employees and 28 employers. The number of employee responses is estimated to be 13% of all employees hired and still working under the Scheme (around 700). The survey findings were based on 70 employees who had returned the questionnaires both in phase 2 and phase 3, and 13 employers who reported that they had hired successfully under the Scheme (hereafter the companies).
Key Research Findings:
- Nearly 70% of employees said they would introduce their friends to join the Scheme. The vast majority of the employee respondents agreed that the Scheme allowed them to “understand more about GBA Mainland cities” (92.8%) and “gain more work experience” (89.9%), thus achieving two main objectives of the Scheme.
- Nearly all employee respondents could adapt to the daily life arrangements (98.5%).
- Even though most of the employee respondents thought that they had competitive advantages over Mainland graduates, those not to stay in their current jobs did not feel confident about finding a desirable job in GBA mainland cities in the short run.
- Over 90% of the companies agreed that the Scheme met their expectations. A vast majority of the companies reported having a new employment arrangement with their employees, with many of them retaining all employees. Most importantly, nearly all of the companies were willing to offer a salary of more than HKD18,000 plus other allowances. It reflected that the Scheme could be beneficial to the long-term human resources strategy of the companies.
- Recommendation: Should be upgraded to “GBA talents scheme”: The monthly salary allowance should be increased in order to attract more young people.
- Recommendation: Should expand the eligibility requirement: The Government should allow people who have graduated within the past five years to apply for the Scheme instead of the current three years so that more youths who are interested can join.
- Recommendation : Should provide services to the employees directly in GBA Mainland cities: Some interviewed employers mentioned that while it was relatively easier to provide work-related support for employees, they faced some difficulties in providing support for daily needs. The Government should consider delegating suitable institutions based on current supportive services provided by different government departments and institutions to provide support to the employees in order to help them adapt to the working and living environment in the Mainland.