According to a recent statistical survey conducted by the Hong Kong government which was announced on June 20, the number of job vacancies in private organisations has surged by 45% or 24,050 positions compared to the previous year.
The total employment and job vacancy numbers in the surveyed industries, after seasonal adjustment, a 1% and 7.6% increase respectively compared to December of the previous year. As a result, there is a growing demand for foreign labour across different sectors.
The JCI North District conducted the “Milestone to Success!” programme, aiming to identify the untapped talent in Hong Kong. The program has involved interviewing various company owners and discovering that a portion of Hong Kong’s talent pool has been overlooked. Among the industries affected by labour shortages, the construction sector stands out.
Dixon Kwok, Managing Director of York Joint (Hong Kong) Limited, said, “By hiring rehabilitated youth, we can cultivate fresh talent for the construction industry, enhance workplace competitiveness, and encourage them to acquire skills qualifications and construction industry licenses. Therefore, we can ensure their future employability in relevant construction roles.”
“This provides rehabilitated youth with career aspirations, a sense of achievement, and opportunities for upward mobility. We have witnessed the growth of a rehabilitated youth who initially started in a clerical role but, through further education and training, has been promoted to a managerial position within our company, leading a team of 30 to 100 workers. This success story proves that anyone can change if they are willing to do so,” as he explains further.
In addition, publicly listed companies have their unique perspectives on talent requirements. Jeffery Tsang, Assistant to the Chairman of Neway Group Holding, shared his insights, “Strong communication skills are essential for young individuals from diverse backgrounds to succeed in their job search and enter into the workforce. When considering the hiring of young adults from different backgrounds, our company does not discriminate based on past experiences or personal backgrounds,” he said.
“The most crucial factors in our hiring decisions are the values, self-confidence, life goals, and effective communication skills of the job seekers. Effective communication is vital for young professionals in any industry, as it reflects their understanding and ability to grasp work instructions. Additionally, academic degrees only signify a person’s academic knowledge. Even without formal education, if a job seeker shows interest in a particular industry, their performance may not be inferior to others and could even be outstanding,” he added.
Focusing on the upward mobility of Hong Kong’s youth
The president of the JCI North District, Raymond emphasised, “To address the talent shortage in Hong Kong, we should not only rely on importing foreign labour but also tap into the potential of local young people and vulnerable communities as valuable talent resources. By providing them with adequate learning opportunities and suitable job placements, in collaboration with relevant organisations, we can pave the way for Hong Kong’s future. By nurturing the key talents of the next generation, we will be better equipped to tackle the current and future social challenges that lie ahead.”
Over the past six months, various industries in Hong Kong have been grappling with manpower shortages. While some sectors have suggested importing foreign labour as a solution, there are still untapped talent resources within Hong Kong, such as rehabilitated youth.
Moreover, the requirements of businesses have evolved, with academic degrees no longer being the sole indicator of a candidate’s potential. Employers now place greater emphasis on communication skills.