Hong Kong’s one-track mind on jobs means young workers will keep leaving
I am writing in response to “Young professionals are leaving Hong Kong in droves in search of better lives where family, friends, and fun come first” (August 18).
As a young Hongkonger, I totally understand the feelings of those choosing to emigrate. As one of the four pillars of industry, the financial services sector always comes first in this city of ours, hailed as an “international financial centre”. However, this monotonous industrial structure is causing a lack of opportunity in other industries, such as sports or the cultural sector, for instance. Young people end up feeling a sense of hopelessness as they strive to develop in these streams, so no wonder that they choose to leave Hong Kong.
Apart from the lack of job choices, Hong Kong’s stressful environment, from schools to work places, is to blame for this exodus. Teachers always urge us to study in university, seldom do they to ask us to pursue our dreams. We are crammed with exams and exercises. Seldom do we have the chance to participate in multifarious activities. When we get away from school, we still have to face the stressful working environment.
Most Hongkongers, if not all, have to work overtime. Some studies have shown that Hong Kong has longest working hours in the world. However, no matter how hard most of our young employees work, most are still unable to realise their dreams of buying their own home or having a decent quality of life. So they want to escape from this society.
The myth that money comes first should be exploded. The government has to act to make housing more affordable, ease social inequality and increase upward mobility. Hong Kong people are under pressure, as they feel they can never earn enough to support a good lifestyle.
But there are many things in the world which are more important than money and power, such as health, friends and love. Only by changing the atmosphere of the community can Hongkongers be inspired to remain in the city.
Tsui Kit-lam, Kwai Chung