Online Letters, May 16, 2017

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 16 May, 2017, 4:51pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 16 May, 2017, 4:51pm

Apprenticeship programmes can get more youngsters into IT sector

I refer to the report (“Rethink needed to attract millennials and fill talent void in Hong Kong’s IT sector”, April 9).

I do think Hong Kong, especially in the financial technology sector, lacks talented individuals from the millennial generation. Under the current education system, millennials, also known as Generation Y, often struggle to discover talent that may remain hidden. They are constrained by the syllabus and the narrow scope of knowledge they acquire from textbooks.

I agree with Adecco Group chief executive, Alain Dehaze, who said that companies should consider developing talent through their own apprenticeship programmes. This can help youngsters from this age group acquire the relevant knowledge and skills in stages and on a salary that can attract more recruits.

However, an IT job is quite demanding. It involves a heavy workload, including overtime. Some young adults from Generation Y might not like that. It does not fit in with how they envisage their perfect workplace. They seek a good work-life balance, which probably includes a fairly light workload and enough holidays. Firms could deal with this by having project-based contracts with a division of labour.

This would make the millennials feel comfortable with their working environment and companies could be more productive. It would also mean millennials were more likely to stay with a firm for an extended period of time, rather than switching jobs regularly.

Kelly Lam, Yau Yat Chuen

Singapore got it right with housing policies

Young Hongkongers envy their contemporaries in Singapore. It learned from Hong Kong’s home ownership programmes of the 1970s. They are now fully developed in the Lion City, enabling many citizens to eventually own a home.

By contrast, property prices here are skyrocketing and even people in the professions cannot always afford to buy a flat. Our property market is skewed and only the government can successfully address this problem and get things back on track.

Of course, property prices vary greatly even in Singapore, but people have choices and there are affordable apartments. However, in Hong Kong, citizens have to pay high prices even for the smallest flats.

I am not sure what strategies will need to be mapped out to stop the smouldering discontent among young people escalating into rage. However, during her five-year term as chief executive, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor will have to face this challenge.

Lo Wai-kong, Yau Ma Tei

Parents and schools should focus on students’ health

I agree with Ip Sing-leong that more excursions can help students deal with the stress they face (“Schools should organise more outdoor trips”, May 8).

These youngsters face so many tests and exams which put them under a lot of pressure. Things are made worse by schools and parents placing so much emphasis on students’ academic, but not mental, development. Of course, good exam results matter, but students mental and physical health is also important.

With so much homework and so many tests, youngsters seldom have time to get the exercise they need to ensure both mental and physical health.

I realise that the focus in Hong Kong is increasingly on doing well academically and earning a high salary.

However, young people have to start thinking about their physical and mental well-being. If they do this from an early age with regular exercise then they have a better chance of growing up happy and healthy.

Carrie Chong, Tseung Kwan O

So many people have wrong attitude to shopping

A new Greenpeace study shows that the more people shop, the lonelier they get (“Unhealthy shopping obsession revealed”, May 8).

While Hong Kong has a reputation as a shopping paradise, it seems that many locals have a self-destructive attitude to shopping. They are certainly spoiled for choice when it comes to retail outlets.

Some people think shopping can release pressure and help them relax, but if it becomes obsessive it can actually be psychologically damaging. They end up buying stuff they do not need and wasting money. There are far more positive ways to relax.

Coco Yu Ho-yan, Yau Yat Chuen

People knew what they were voting for when they chose Trump

I am as worried about our new president as everyone else.

Afflicted by cognitive disinhibition, Donald Trump is rude and crude, unnerving in a president, especially as Barack Obama was urbane and dignified. And yet, while I am disturbed by Mr Trump’s thin skin and easily bruised ego and his penchant for cutting insults which skirt the truth, I note that he revealed more of himself to the electorate than his closely-scripted Democratic opponent, and won the presidency fair and square.

Those who voted for him knew the candidate inside and out, knew what they were voting for – a loose cannon with sometimes little allegiance to the truth, and knew that they would be making excuses for his wayward tongue, tweets, tics and tirades. Caveat emptor.

Paul Bloustein, Cincinnati, Ohio, US