At the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to the Motherland last year, President Xi Jinping said: “Hong Kong will prosper only when its young people thrive.” Tying in with the National 14th Five-Year Plan, the HKSAR Government’s Youth Development Blueprint, announced in December, lays out the overall vision and guiding principles, with more than 160 concrete measures to nurture a new generation of youths.
Our city has a ready pool of potential talent, which is illustrated by the fact that five Hong Kong universities were ranked among the world’s top 100 by Times Higher Education for 2024. Tapping into this, businesses and educational institutions must support new graduates through talent development schemes and entrepreneurship opportunities for career advancement.
To foster an environment that supports and empowers youths, the Chamber has long been running successful student-centric initiatives, such as the Business Case Competition, the Business-School Partnership Programme and the Pitch Perfect Programme. These schemes provide students with the opportunity to gain practical knowledge about various industries, as well as understand the skills and abilities required for success.
I am proud to announce that the Chamber will launch its annual Business Case Competition this month, giving tertiary students the chance to win internship opportunities, cash prizes as well as a student membership to the HKGCC. Importantly, the competition gives them the opportunity to apply textbook knowledge to real-life situations. Last year, the programme saw more than 500 undergraduates from various Hong Kong universities deliver 140 proposals for the competition. It is always fantastic to see the level of enthusiasm and creativity among our young participants!
Another impactful initiative I want to mention is our Business-School Partnership Programme, which returns next month. Since it was established in 2001, it has brought together students, teachers and businesses, giving them a platform for fruitful exchanges and readying young talents for the corporate world. In the 2022 edition, we were proud to enroll a record 56 companies and 53 local secondary schools in the programme.
The Chamber also offers the HKGCC Scholarship for Innovation and Creativity, which is awarded to students from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) with outstanding achievements in innovation and entrepreneurship.
Besides city-wide measures, the HKSAR Government’s youth development plan also dovetails with the growth of the Greater Bay Area (GBA). For example, the Greater Bay Area Youth Employment Scheme encourages young people to live and work in GBA cities. The scheme greatly widens the scope of career development, while fostering the exchange of talent and promoting understanding of the latest developments in the region.
As Hong Kong embarks on a new era of economic revival, it is important to stay committed to providing our young talent with a nurturing environment, allowing them to unleash their full potential and become future leaders on whom this city can depend.