- One of the tragic ironies of the violent anti-government protests is that young Hongkongers are becoming unemployable, especially in well-paid jobs with good career prospects
Young people in Hong Kong are becoming unemployable, especially in well-paid jobs with good career prospects, according to a Financial Times report. That has to be one of the tragic ironies of the violent anti-government protests of the past six months. Ostensibly, young rebels are fighting for their future. But they are compromising their immediate employability.
Of course, this problem has been there all along, ever since much more competitive and cooperative mainland graduates started flooding the local job market, particularly in the financial sector.
But the violent protests have only made the already bad reputation of young locals as self-centred snowflakes who require extensive supervision and training even more alarming to bosses. Sadly, this open secret has been kept from young protesters who innocently drink the Kool-Aid served up by their glorifiers, do-gooders and manipulators.
According to the Times, "interviews with senior executives at several financial services companies " including banks, asset managers, accountancies and law firms " suggest the reluctance to hire Hongkongers extends far wider than mainland Chinese banks.
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"The executives said they fear recruiting anyone who has participated in activities deemed illegal by local authorities during the protests … Managers at three Hong Kong-based global hedge funds said they would implement an unofficial hiring freeze on locals.
"One mainland Chinese partner at the Hong Kong office of an international law firm said he would avoid hiring anyone who had taken part in violent protests. 'I would ask if they have participated in the violence because I wouldn't want that logic, using violence to achieve your demands, that's not how the rule of law works,' said the lawyer."
The Times interviewed Baptist University management lecturer Felix Yip who said "human resource executives are more hesitant to hire locals and were increasing their 'background checks' of personal social media accounts.
"'They will not say it publicly but informally they are hesitant to hire Hong Kong young graduates,' he said."
Of course, since colonial times, many foreign firms have preferred new hires educated overseas or from their own countries. Now some may not want to rub Beijing up the wrong way by hiring rebellious locals. But that would only be a concern for someone being considered for a responsible position. For junior hires, it gets down to employability.
Whether fair or not, a post-handover generation that is perceived as entitled, violent and lacking in work ethics doesn't make for ideal employees.
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