Hong Kong incentivises companies to employ local graduates
This programme will cost the government as much as HK$360 million (US$46.4 million). It is part of the Greater Bay Area Youth Employment Scheme revealed last November to create 2,000 jobs for youth in the Greater Bay Area, including 400 IT jobs.
The programme encourages companies to hire Hong Kong college graduates and send them to cities in the Greater Bay Area, and is expected to last one-and-a-half years. Employed graduates under this scheme will be guaranteed a monthly salary of at least HK$18,000 (US$2,320).
A few companies have opted in. Hong Kong digital wealth management platform Aqumon plans to employ Hong Kong graduates to staff its Shenzhen office under this scheme. Members of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, including HSBC Holdings PLC and Cheung Kong Ltd have also pledged to provide 300 positions.
The scheme was prompted by the rising unemployment rate in Hong Kong, especially among the young. The unemployment rate of those between 20 and 24 years old was 17.5% between September and November last year; the overall rate was 6.3%.
The number of unemployed people with college degrees has reached 61,700 in Hong Kong, an increase of about 27,000 over the same period in 2019. The government said the youth unemployment rate may remain in double digits for some time, according to Caixin.