Young Hongkongers are willing to move overseas for better career opportunities

Young Hongkongers are willing to move overseas for better career opportunities

Survey shows brain drain is still a serious problem as 60 per cent of respondents aged between 18 and 34 say they are willing to emigrate

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56 per cent of Hong Kong people are willing to move oversea which is higher than the global average of 50 per cent.
Photo: Shutterstock

Hongkongers have a stronger desire to travel abroad for employment than people from other countries, a survey has found. The findings raise concerns about a possible talent shortage in the city, as large numbers of skilled workers decide to move overseas.

The survey, conducted by human resources company Randstad, interviewed 13,200 people from 33 countries worldwide, including 440 from Hong Kong.


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It found that 56 per cent of Hong Kong people were willing to move abroad, higher than the global average of 50 per cent. This was particularly true of the city’s youngsters, as 60 per cent of respondents aged between 18 and 34 said they were willing to emigrate, compared to 54 per cent of those aged 35 to 54.

Hong Kong women were more willing to emigrate compared to their overseas counterparts, with 55 per cent saying they would be willing to move abroad compared to just 46 per cent of women from other countries.

Open University of Hong Kong student Saloni Ananpara, 19, said she hopes to move to Australia or Canada after completing her studies due to Hong Kong’s long hours and stressful working environment .


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“My friends working in these countries have told me that their working environments are much better,” she said. “Not only are the working hours [shorter] , the environment is less stressful and they can have fun with their colleagues. In Hong Kong, work hours are long, and the salaries for fresh graduates are very low.”

Michael Smith, Managing Director for Randstad Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia, said that employees are becoming increasingly aware of job opportunities available overseas. “Brain drain is as relevant as ever, and the rapid evolution of technology is leaving companies around the world scrambling for skilled talent,” Smith said.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Hong Kong workers want to quit city

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