40,000 jobs, internships, exchanges for HK youths

Top News | Leung Pak-hei and Jane Cheung 17 Sep 2021

Beijing will offer 40,000 jobs and internships to young people from Hong Kong in the coming five years, the All-China Youth Federation announced yesterday.

Hong Kong's latest unemployment rate from June to last month dipped 0.3 percentage point to 4.7 percent - marking six consecutive months of decline. It is at its lowest in the pandemic era.

The 10,000 jobs, 10,000 internships and 20,000 exchange opportunities are "big presents" from the central government, said Zhang Zhihua, the liaison office's director for teens work.

The federation's secretary general Liu Aiping said the opportunities are up for grabs for Hongkongers studying in mainland secondary schools as well as university students in the SAR and those who have graduated in less than two years. Liu said the internships are in mainland departments and state enterprises.

Exchange trips to schools and villages will open to Hongkongers between 14 and 35.

The federation will set up a scholarship for 20 patriotic local university students who embrace the Basic Law and one country, two systems. And a hotline will be set up to assist Hong Kong youth handle education, work and living issues.

"Hong Kong's youth should fully understand the requirements of the nation's 14th Five-Year Plan. The biggest opportunities for the city's development is in the mainland and teenagers should integrate with it," Liu said.

Zhang said the best development opportunities for Hong Kong teens lie in the Greater Bay Area and called for them to grasp the chances and extend their vision to the mainland.

"These beneficial policies are big presents from the central government. They show the government's support and care for Hong Kong's youth. Teenagers in Hong Kong should integrate into China's development plans and enjoy the country's prosperity," Zhang said.

He said the policies could cover teenagers' needs in their studies, employment and business undertaking. Zhang also hoped the Hong Kong government would provide more resources to support the policies.

Secretary for Home Affairs Casper Tsui Ying-wai thanked Beijing's support and encouraged the city's youth to grab the opportunities.

"Teenagers need to equip themselves with different skills and build a correct set of values to contribute to the country," he said.

Choi Tak-shing, a member of the federation's standing committee, said the establishment of a special racetrack showed that Beijing is determined to encourage Hong Kong youngsters' involvement in the mainland's development.

Hong Kong's unemployment rate dropped from 5 percent between May and July to 4.7 percent between June and last month, with the number of unemployed people dropping by 10,700 to 198,400.

Total employment increased by around 1,700 to 3.65 million when comparing the two three-month periods. The greatest improvements were recorded in the construction and transportation sectors.

The underemployment rate also dropped from 2.4 percent during the May to July period to 2.2 percent between June and last month.

Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong said: "The labor market should see further improvement as the economy continues to recover. The vouchers will continue to render support to consumption-related activities."

A job fair, Turning a New Page, meanwhile, will be held on October 12 and 13 at the MacPherson Stadium. Over 50 employers will participate.

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