What a delight it was for me to meet so many talented young people recently at the Closing Ceremony for this year’s Business-School Partnership Programme. Cheerful, curious and conscientious, these students are a shining example of Hong Kong’s younger generation.
Every year, a number of our member companies take part in the BSP Programme, which partners them with a local school to give the students an insight into the world of work.
At the Closing Ceremony, we heard from the students about their experiences and awarded certificates to those who presented the most outstanding activity reports. The event also included a Career Sharing session, where members of our Young Executives Club took the time to chat to the students and share their career paths.
The smooth running of the event can be credited to some of the student ambassadors, who helped organize the Closing Ceremony and acted as MCs, giving them valuable hands-on experience in planning and executing a corporate event.
Throughout the year, I have enjoyed meeting some of these student representatives at major events that the Chamber is involved with. A group of student ambassadors, for example, participated in the Business Luncheons with Chief Executive Carrie Lam and Financial Secretary Paul Chan. I was greatly impressed by the students’ composure at these events. Many adults would be nervous when meeting such high-level officials!
The advantages of the programme for students are plentiful. At this stage, they are unlikely to have any real experience of the world of work, so it provides a valuable insight into the variety of different roles available and the realities of working life.
And our member companies report that there are many benefits for them as well. Firstly, such activities provide a valuable community service and fulfill their CSR requirements. But companies tell me that they also learn a lot from the students.
The world is rapidly changing, and with it are young people’s expectations and demands for their lives and careers.
For many of them, salary and stability are no longer the main driving factors, and work-life balance is a phrase that comes up again and again. There has been a notable rise in the interest in entrepreneurship, while, at the same time, the increasing cost of living has added concerns about financial pressures.
Participating in the BSP Programme gives companies a preview of these trends before they hit the general workplace. Being aware of the evolving mindset of the new generation of employees is particularly important given Hong Kong’s current manpower shortage. Companies now have to try harder to attract and retain staff, and businesses that have an insight into the priorities of people entering the workforce may well have a head start on their rivals. Increasing awareness of your brand and business among young people can also play a part in your company’s broader recruitment strategy.
We are now seeking companies to participate in our 2018/19 programme, so please do get in touch if you are interested in playing a part in preparing Hong Kong’s youth for their future career success.