LCQ13: Greater Bay Area Youth Employment Scheme
The Government implemented, on a pilot basis, 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 university graduates, and deploy them to work in the GBA Mainland cities. The Scheme was regularised in March this year. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the highest, lowest and average salaries of the young people participating in the Scheme who have reported for duty, with a breakdown by (i) the industry in which they are engaged and (ii) the post they hold;
(2) as a study has pointed out that some young people employed under the Scheme who have reported for duty consider that the salary levels in the GBA Mainland cities are generally lower than those in Hong Kong, hence they are not confident that they can secure jobs with their target salary levels in the GBA Mainland cities, whether the authorities will raise the amount of salary subsidy granted to enterprises participating in the Scheme, so as to encourage the enterprises concerned to increase the salaries of the jobs they offer, thereby attracting more Hong Kong university graduates to participate in the Scheme; and
(3) as there are views that the rapid development of innovation and technology, engineering as well as smart manufacturing on the Mainland is a rare opportunity for Hong Kong graduates aspiring to join relevant industries, whether the authorities will consider afresh extending the scope of application of the Scheme to all Hong Kong graduates of associate degree and higher diploma programmes, so as to support young people with different academic qualifications in seizing the opportunities arising from the development of the Mainland; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
The Government launched the pilot Greater Bay Area Youth Employment Scheme (the pilot scheme) in 2021 to encourage enterprises to employ university graduates from Hong Kong and station them to work in the Mainland cities of the Greater Bay Area. Enterprises engaged the target graduates according to Hong Kong Laws with a monthly salary of not less than HK$18,000. According to the number of young people employed, the Government disbursed a monthly allowance of HK$10,000 to enterprises for each person for up to 18 months.
According to the evaluation study on the pilot scheme completed by the Labour and Welfare Bureau in June 2022, nearly 80 per cent of the respondents (including enterprises and the employed young people) were satisfied or very satisfied with the scheme, and nearly 90 per cent of the respondents considered the scheme worth continuing. The Chief Executive announced in the 2022 Policy Address the regularisation of the Greater Bay Area Youth Employment Scheme (the regularised scheme) to continuously foster the career development of Hong Kong young people and the exchange of talents in the Greater Bay Area.
My reply to the question raised by the Hon Rock Chen is as follows:
(1) The recruitment period of the pilot scheme was completed by August 2021 and a total of 1 091 job offers from enterprises employing young people were received. Nearly 90 per cent of the employed young people earned a monthly salary ranging from HK$18,000 to HK$21,000, and the highest and lowest monthly salaries were HK$49,200 and HK$18,000 respectively. The Labour Department (LD) does not keep a breakdown by average salary of the employed young people. Breakdowns of the number of employed young people under the pilot scheme by industry and occupational group are at Annex.
The LD launched the regularised scheme on March 1, 2023. After vetting, the job vacancies have been uploaded to the scheme website since March 20 for the eligible young people to apply. The LD will later compile statistical figures relevant to the employed young people in a timely manner.
(2) According to the results of the evaluation study, the pilot scheme facilitated the employed young people to acquire work experience conductive to career development, enhance work-related knowledge/skills, establish networks in the Mainland, and enhance knowledge of the Mainland market/business environment. In fact, the response of the pilot scheme showed that the relevant arrangements were attractive to the young people. The LD will continue to step up publicity and promotion to encourage more qualified graduates to participate in the regularised scheme. As the implementation period of the regularised scheme is still short, the LD will closely monitor the implementation of the scheme, listen to the views of enterprises and the employed young people, and review the scheme details (including allowance arrangement) in due course.
(3) Taking into account the views of enterprises and the employed young people collected during the evaluation study, we have maintained the academic requirement for young people to participate in the regularised scheme. The LD will continue to listen to the views of stakeholders and explore enhancement measures where appropriate, including reviewing whether there is room for relaxing the academic requirement for job seekers under the scheme.
Ends/Wednesday, May 17, 2023
Issued at HKT 12:45
Issued at HKT 12:45