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GBA employment plan opens to HK graduates

By QIU QUANLIN in Guangzhou | China Daily | Updated:2023-09-18

More than 1,000 young people from Hong Kong have been employed on the Chinese mainland in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, following the trial implementation of a youth employment plan, according to labor and welfare authorities from the special administrative region.

The GBA Youth Employment Scheme, unveiled by the Hong Kong government in early 2021, aims to encourage and support young people from the SAR in their pursuit of careers in cities within the GBA.

More than 400 companies have provided 3,400 jobs for young people from Hong Kong since the trial began, according to Chris Sun, secretary of the Labor and Welfare Bureau of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

"We will consistently promote the employment plan, due to high recognition of the effectiveness during its trial implementation," said Sun.

He made the remarks during a ceremony to recognize the employment of young people from Hong Kong in the mainland cities of the GBA. The ceremony was held in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, on Wednesday.

Hong Kong residents who have completed a bachelor's degree or above between 2021 and 2023 and who are eligible for employment in Hong Kong can participate in the program.

Under the plan, the Hong Kong government provides a monthly allowance of HK$10,000 ($1,278) per person to enterprises, based on the number of employees, for a maximum period of 18 months.

Companies involved in the scheme are required to hire target graduates in accordance with Hong Kong laws and with a monthly salary of no less than HK$18,000, and assign them to work in a mainland city within the GBA.

To facilitate more enterprises and youth participants, the application period for the youth employment plan has been extended to Dec 31, according to Sun.

"The GBA has rapid population growth, wide employment opportunities and great business development potential. We believe that there will be more Hong Kong youth participating in this plan," said Sun.

Young people from Hong Kong and Macao who work in and start businesses in Guangdong can receive equal insurance coverage and benefits, according to the Guangdong provincial authorities of human resources and social security.

More than 330,000 Hong Kong and Macao residents have participated in insurance plans for pensions, work-related injuries and unemployment in Guangdong, the authorities said.

"As one of the first group of participants in the youth employment scheme, I initially only intended to expand and enrich my personal work experience," said Yip Manyuet, a youth representative from Hong Kong.

Graduating from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2019, Yip participated in the plan and was assigned to work in Guangzhou for the social service center of the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions in the GBA.

"After completing the 18-month term, I chose to continue staying in Guangzhou, a city with a profound sense of history," he said.

"The youth employment plan has provided me with a valuable opportunity to understand the GBA and integrate into life on the mainland, while also helping me discover my own purpose."

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