Lost generation

PUBLISHED : Friday, 03 October, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 03 October, 2003, 12:00am

I am glad that I graduated at my university four years ago because, to my knowledge, the average salary and career advancement of graduates in Hong Kong this year are much worse than in the past.

It is appalling to learn that some bachelor degree holders this year can only secure a dead-end job with a monthly salary as low as $7,000 (or even less).

In the present flagging economic environment, such a salary is acceptable for a baccalaureate, and degree holders can only try to work hard for promotion to earn more respect and income.

However, it is frustrating that many Hong Kong companies offer fewer promotion prospects for new employees with tertiary education because the duties of senior executives are now shared by junior staff. With a hiring freeze in the civil service and the unstable working environment in Hong Kong, it is not surprising that graduates on lower incomes and with a sense of job insecurity are cautious in spending and frequently decide on late marriage, cohabitation or even celibacy.

This will inevitably lead to a low birthrate. The overwhelming majority of our future generations will come from the mainland, not Hong Kong. Our society as a whole will suffer eventually.

I hope conscientious employers can offer university graduates decent salaries and promotion paths because these people are the pillars of our community.