MWYO Published “Greater Bay Area Youth Employment Scheme” Impact Study Phase 2 Report
54% of employees believe that the Scheme could meet nearly all their expectations; 44% of employees willing to work in the GBA for more than two years; 73% of employees often or sometimes socialise with their Mainland friends; the Government should continue to implement the Scheme
Hong Kong, 28 July 2022 - The “Greater Bay Area Youth Employment Scheme” (hereafter the Scheme) was launched by the Government in early 2021. It aims to encourage enterprises with operations in both Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area (hereafter the GBA) to recruit and deploy local university/ tertiary institution graduates to work in the Mainland cities of the GBA. As of mid-2022, most employees under the Scheme have been working for about nine months.
In order to assess the effectiveness of the Scheme and offer policy recommendations to the Government, MWYO and the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce (hereafter, HKGCC) have launched a longitudinal research study in four phases. Online surveys were conducted from September to October 2021 for Phase 1, and from March to April 2022 for Phase 2. HKGCC distributed the questionnaire to the employees through its members for Phase 2. This report focuses on the employees’ changes in perception and attitude towards the Scheme and the Mainland cities of the GBA.
We received 187 valid responses from the employees for Phase 2. Among those who completed the Phase 2 questionnaire, 123 of them had also done so in Phase 1, which amounts to 88% of the total number of respondents in Phase 1.
More employees willing to work in the GBA for more than two years
Overall, employees responded favourably to the Scheme in both Phase 1 and Phase 2. For several questions regarding their opinion of the Scheme, the proportion of respondents who gave positive responses fell slightly, but they remained in the majority. According to survey results, among the 123 respondents, the vast majority (70%) of them considered their career development plans in the GBA to be clear, down by 13 percentage points from 83% in Phase 1. The proportion of employees who were willing to work in the GBA for more than two years increased by five percentage points to 44%. Most employees expected the Scheme to help them further their careers (88%), gain more work experience (69%) or expand their network (58%). However, the proportion of respondents who reported that the Scheme could meet nearly all their expectations decreased by 11 percentage points from 65% in Phase 1 to 54% in Phase 2.
Greater understanding of the Mainland
Employees generally developed a deeper understanding of various aspects of life in the Mainland. Comparing the two phases, the proportion of employees who understood Mainland companies’ norms and organisational culture increased significantly by 23 percentage points. The proportion of employees who had knowledge of the subsidies provided by Mainland authorities and healthcare services in the Mainland also increased by 23 and 14 percentage points respectively. However, about half of the employees lacked an understanding of the tax payment requirements and the social security system. The proportion of employees who had knowledge in these areas increased marginally, from around 45% in Phase 1 to around 50% in Phase 2.
More accustomed to living and working in the Mainland
Employees generally became more accustomed to living and working in the Mainland, as shown in the Phase 2 survey. 75% of employees adapted to Mainland companies’ norms and organisational culture, up from 59% in Phase 1. Employees also became better adjusted to interpersonal communication (an increase of 12 percentage points) and public safety (an increase of 9 percentage points) in the Mainland.
Most employees spent their spare time travelling within Mainland China and socialising with their Mainland friends. In Phase 2, 73% of employees stated that they often or sometimes socialised with their Mainland friends, up from 65% in Phase 1.
In view of the findings, MWYO proposes that the Government should continue to implement the Scheme. Dr. Law Cheung-kwok, Special Advisor at MWYO, said, “It is essential to offer more GBA employment opportunities for Hong Kong youths’ development. The continued success of the Scheme depends on the avid participation of young workers and employers. Employees under the Scheme may learn from each other and persuade their peers in Hong Kong to consider seeking work in the GBA, thus promoting overall GBA youth employment. If the Government terminates the Scheme after only one cohort, the positive effects will be dwarfed, and the promotional effect of GBA youth employment will be greatly diminished. Therefore, the Government should continue to be the leader and facilitator of promoting youth employment in the GBA, despite the many challenges ahead.”
Phase 3 of the study will be conducted in November and December 2022, which mark the last two months of the Scheme. We aim to further analyse the employees' changes in attitude, knowledge and career planning after participating in the Scheme, in order to assess its effectiveness.
Full report: https://bit.ly/MWYO_Jul22_GCC-P2