18 MAY, 2020

Offering Career Alternatives for Hong Kong Youth in the Greater Bay Area

Written by : CK Law, David Lai, Justin Chan

Under the COVID-19 pandemic, Hong Kong’s youth unemployment rate will inevitably rise, making job-seeking even more difficult for this year’s graduates who do not have much job experience. Does the GBA offer a viable alternative?


The survey was conducted by the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies of the Chinese University of Hong Kong from late August to early October 2019. The research by MWYO found that only 13.4% of young people expressed their interest in working in the GBA. Those who were interested cited job and industry prospects in the Mainland as the major drawing factors. Only a handful of jobs in the GBA have wages that come close, i.e. job that offers 60% or above of the Hong Kong salary level, for the same position.


Short-term Measures


  1. Promptly set up a GBA development office to offer career support in the GBA.
  2. Rebrand the Government’s “Greater Bay Area” website as a one-stop portal, which provides up-to-date information on working and living in GBA.
  3. Create a talent database to release relevant career information and to understand youth’s intention to work in GBA.
  4. Offer career platforms and support, including job-matching services, to remove obstacles in the job-seeking process.
  5. Set up offices in the GBA cities to provide one-stop consultation services, and develop apps to increase access to information regarding working and living in GBA.


Medium-term Measures


  1. Provide subsidies for GBA employers who are willing to hire Hong Kong’s young jobseekers (e.g. as a suggestion, a sum of HKD8,000 per month for a period of two years).
  2. Replicate the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Special Talent Zone and concession measures in other GBA cities to attract more Hong Kong young people to work in the GBA.


Long-term Measures


  1. Increase scholarships and grants to Hong Kong students, with the aim of encouraging them to study at universities in the GBA, so that they are more open to working in the GBA after graduation.
  2. Offer more and longer-duration internship opportunities at companies in the GBA, to enhance youth’s interest in working in the GBA.