Young Hongkongers will have the chance to work in Britain for up to two years after the two governments struck a deal. The bilateral programme, which starts on January 1, will allow 1,000 Hong Kong passport holders aged between 18 and 30 to apply to work in Britain every year. Holders of British National (Overseas) passports will also be able to take part, with no quota on their participation. Successful applicants will be issued a visa under the Youth Mobility Scheme by the British consulate in the city. They will be allowed take up employment or do voluntary work for up to two years and may also study in Britain, as long as studying is not the main purpose of their stay. Applicants will not be allowed to take dependents with them and must take out suitable insurance and show they have at least £1,800 (HK$22,900) in the bank for maintenance. Some 1,000 British citizens will be able to apply to work in Hong Kong for up to a year on the same basis. The announcement was made by Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung Kin-chung and British consul Caroline Wilson at the government headquarters in Admiralty yesterday. Britain is the ninth country to agree a bilateral working holiday arrangement with Hong Kong, after New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, Germany, Japan, Canada, Korea and France. Cheung said the arrangement would "further strengthen bilateral ties" between Hong Kong and Britain, a popular destination for Hong Kong tourists.