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LCQ13: Greater Bay Area Youth Employment Scheme
     Following is a question by Dr the Hon Wendy Hong and a written reply by the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Chris Sun, in the Legislative Council today (January 11):


     The Government launched the Greater Bay Area Youth Employment Scheme (the Scheme) in January 2021 to encourage enterprises with business both in Hong Kong and in the Mainland cities of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) to employ Hong Kong graduates who have been awarded a bachelor's degree or above by institutions in Hong Kong or institutions outside Hong Kong to work in the GBA Mainland cities, so as to enable such graduates to gain an understanding of and explore the career development opportunities in the GBA Mainland cities. However, while some 3 500 job vacancies have been offered under the Scheme, only 1 091 graduates have reported for duty so far. On the other hand, the Government will regularise the Scheme in the first half of this year. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) of the details of the aforesaid graduates who have reported for duty, including their places of habitual residence before reporting for duty, the regions where the institutions from which they graduated are located, and their length of living on the Mainland before reporting for duty;

(2) as it is learnt that quite a big proportion of the graduates participating in the Scheme were Hong Kong students having lived on the Mainland for a long period of time or graduated from Mainland institutions and with knowledge about the Mainland, whether the Government has assessed if such situation is conducive to achieving the objectives of the Scheme; if it has assessed and the outcome is in the affirmative, of the details; if the assessment outcome is in the negative, whether it will make adjustments to the Scheme before regularising it, including imposing restrictions on the places of habitual residence of participants and on the regions where the institutions from which they graduated are located, so as to genuinely benefit Hong Kong graduates who lack knowledge of the Mainland and the GBA Mainland cities; and

(3) as there are views that the response to the Scheme has been lukewarm, what improvement measures the Government will introduce before regularising the Scheme, so as to enhance the attractiveness and actual effectiveness of the Scheme?



     The development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) is accorded the status of key strategic planning in the country's development blueprint. The country will continue to develop the GBA and support Hong Kong in better integrating into the overall national development. The development of the GBA provides valuable opportunities for young people of Hong Kong to develop their careers. The Government launched the pilot Greater Bay Area Youth Employment Scheme in January 2021 to encourage enterprises with business in both Hong Kong and the GBA Mainland cities to employ Hong Kong graduates who were awarded a bachelor's degree or above during 2019 to 2021 and deploy them to work in the GBA Mainland cities. Participating enterprises employed the target graduates according to Hong Kong laws with a monthly salary of not less than HK$18,000. The Government granted a monthly allowance of HK$10,000 to enterprises for each graduate employed for a maximum period of 18 months.

     The Scheme recorded a total of 3 494 job vacancies from 417 enterprises and received over 20 000 job applications from graduates. The recruitment period of the Scheme was completed by end-August 2021 and 1 091 graduates had reported for duty.

     My reply to the Member's question is as follows.

(1) A breakdown of the hired persons participating in the Scheme by location of degree-awarding institutions is provided at Annex. The Labour Department does not maintain statistics on the hired persons' habitual residence and the number of years they have lived in the Mainland before joining the Scheme.

(2) According to the evaluation study on the Scheme completed by the Labour and Welfare Bureau in June 2022, nearly 80 per cent of the respondents (including enterprises and hired persons) were satisfied or very satisfied with the Scheme, and nearly 90 per cent of the respondents considered the Scheme worth continuing. Among them, the hired persons indicated that the benefits after joining the Scheme included acquiring work experience conductive to career development, enhancing work-related knowledge/skills, establishing networks in the Mainland, enhancing understanding of the living and work culture in the Mainland, and enhancing knowledge on the Mainland market/business environment. Taking into account the results of the evaluation study, we will maintain the requirements of enterprises and hired persons for joining the Scheme and continue to listen to the views of stakeholders.

(3) The Government will launch the regularised Scheme in the first half of 2023 and the enhancement measures include: setting up a dedicated team to take forward the Scheme and strengthen liaison with enterprises, post-secondary institutions, employer groups and other stakeholders; providing practical employment information in the GBA to graduates with interest earlier; following up on the employment situation of hired persons during and after their participation in the Scheme; and stepping up the publicity and promotion to share the success stories of participants so that Hong Kong youths can gain a better understanding of the development opportunities in the GBA.
Ends/Wednesday, January 11, 2023
Issued at HKT 11:36
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