The Government admits there are not enough jobs in Hong Kong, and has set up a taskforce to solicit ideas on how to improve the employment situation. But, at the same time, it has dispatched senior civil servants to Canada and Britain to try to encourage people to join the civil service as administrative officers. While only those with the right of abode in the SAR may apply, this is one of the few well-paying job opportunities on offer at the moment. The approach can include those who left Hong Kong long ago and are happily settled overseas. Were they not encouraged to do so by the Government, such people would not normally contemplate returning - and so adding to the numbers competing for jobs in the SAR. In better times, overseas recruitment efforts are welcome. For many years, there was a shortage of local job applicants. Encouraging migrants to return helps to foster the international image that is a key to Hong Kong's success. But, at a time of rising unemployment, such missions no longer look appropriate. It is not as if there is any shortage of applications from those already in Hong Kong. Does this exercise mean that the Government believes there are not enough suitable applicants from local universities? Overseas applicants are always welcome. But to encourage them in this way at such an inappropriate time risks offending everyone who is out of work, but who has qualifications, in Hong Kong. Either that - or this is a worrying recognition of the inability of Hong Kong's system to turn out suitable candidates to manage the SAR.