MWYO published Greater Bay Area Youth Employment Scheme Impact Study Phase 4 Report
Over 80% of the respondents were successfully employed after the completion of the Scheme.
The salary of about half of the successfully employed respondents was over HKD22,000.
Employees have broadened horizons and gained more experience, thereby having more choices in their career development; meanwhile, employers can have better manpower planning and continue to recruit suitable talents through the Scheme.
MWYO recommends that the Government should conduct ongoing research and impact assessment of the scheme, the relevant data should be published for public use regularly.
In 2021, the HKSAR Government (hereafter the Government) launched the “Greater Bay Area Youth Employment Scheme” (hereafter the Scheme) 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 early 2023, all employees should have completed the pilot Scheme. To assess the effectiveness of the Scheme, MWYO and the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce (hereafter HKGCC) launched a longitudinal research study in four phases. We release the report for phase 4 today (29th August 2023).
Online surveys were conducted in May 2023 for phase 4. For the in-depth interviews, we selected suitable employees who had stated their acceptance to be interviewed in the phase 4 questionnaire, while some interviewees were contacted by referral. The survey findings were based on 72 employees who had returned the phase 4 questionnaire. The number of respondents was estimated to be 12.7% of the total number of employees who successfully completed the Scheme.
Over 80% of the respondents were successfully employed
Over 80% of the respondents were successfully employed after the completion of the Scheme. Most of them (61.1%) accepted new employment contracts from the same companies under the Scheme and some (22.2%) were employed by other companies. Nearly half of the respondents who were employed by the same companies (55.3%) or employed by other companies (42.9%) had job duties related to the GBA business.
Salary discrepancy affects job choices
A great majority of respondents reported that their monthly salary upon the completion of the Scheme was over HKD18,000 (90.5% for those who accepted new employment contracts from the same companies and 81.3% for those who were employed by other companies) and the salary of about half of them was over HKD22,000 (47.7% and 50.0% respectively). It proves that they have good career development after completing the Scheme. A larger proportion of respondents with employers who had at least one of their offices located in the Mainland received a monthly salary of HKD18,000 or below after completing the Scheme (33.3%) as compared with those respondents with employers who had their offices located in Hong Kong only (2.5%) and it shows statistical significance. The salary discrepancy between Hong Kong and the Mainland cities would affect the employees’ intention to go back to Hong Kong to work.
Overall, the Scheme is beneficial to both employees and employers. As employees have broadened their horizons and gained more experience, they will have more choices in their career development. The employers will be able to understand the ability of Hong Kong youths working in the GBA Mainland cities, so that they can have better manpower planning and continue to recruit suitable talents through the Scheme. These developments are in line with the concept of fostering the “GBA Talent Cycle” which we suggested in the previous report. The “GBA Talent Cycle” promotes work, life and cultural exchanges between Hong Kong and the GBA Mainland cities.
Impact assessment is essential for the regularised scheme
Although the Scheme has achieved satisfactory results, it is still a new scheme with ample room for improvement. We hope that the regularisation of the Scheme can attract more young talents in Hong Kong to participate in it, and at the same time fine-tune the operational details to provide more appropriate support to employees and employers. To maximise the effectiveness of the Scheme and to sustain the favourable results, ongoing research and impact assessment are essential, and relevant data should be published for public use regularly. We suggest that the directions of the research study could be: 1) the effects of the regularisation of the Scheme, 2) the considerations of employers who continue, withdraw or newly join the Scheme, 3) the changes after the relaxation of the anti-epidemic measures, 4) the impacts after the increase of preferential policies and supporting measures, and 5) the changes in the backgrounds of the employees participating in the regularised Scheme, etc.
Dr. Law Cheung-kwok, Special Advisor at MWYO, said “we believe that the Scheme is an effective channel for Hong Kong young people to learn about the development opportunities in the GBA Mainland cities and to open up multiple development pathways for themselves. Among the employees we interviewed, there were indeed enthusiasts who took the initiative to organise support groups which provides various activities to help employees build up their networks. We hope that Hong Kong young people and the employers can make the best use of this opportunity to move forward to a better future development in Greater Bay Area.”