1 Corinthians 13: 1 & 13

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

14 October 2014

Youth Unemployment (6A Kelvin Lau)

     In recent years, stemming from the increasing number of jobless youngsters, youth unemployment has been a hot issue under much discussion in society. This worsening situation brings a lot of harm to all Hong Kongers. Many people then put the blame on the new generation that they don’t strive to seize the working opportunities. However, it is already proved that there are numerous external factors determining the youth employment rate. In this article, I would like to have a deep insight at the whole issue, hoping to inspire you more about youth unemployment.

     To address a problem comprehensively, looking into the causes of it is an essential process. So, what are the crucial reasons behind why more and more youngsters are not getting any jobs? Needless to say, we can instantly come up with tons of ideas like lower youth competitiveness, poor working conditions, etc. However, I would like to divide them into two different aspects: internal factors and external factors.

     The first internal factor is the deterioration of youth competitiveness. Hong Kong is an international city where many cross-border enterprisers come to operate their businesses. That’s why English is so important. Nonetheless, the English proficiency of Hong Kong students is deteriorating due to less exposure to English. With average language skills, it is challenging for the youth to communicate and co-operate with people who are not Cantonese speakers and their career paths may not coincide. Meanwhile, we notice a new term wisely used in the news “Hong Kong kids”, describing children with low ability of self-care who meet daily life problems. What’s wrong with the new generation? Not only do they lack self-care, but they are also self-centered. They always complain about their working conditions, how badly they are treated by their boss and so on. The above emotions make them give up their career easily and become unemployed.

      On the other hand, there are so many external factors but the most influential is employers’ preferential impressions on youth. Influenced by the local media’s highlights of the negative aspects of the new generation, employers in Hong Kong are more likely to have a feeling that young people are not responsible or capable enough to take the jobs they offer. Thus, they prefer experienced workers instead of the new power.

      Though the problem of youth unemployment seems to involve the new generation and employers only, this is not the true picture. In fact, this is everybody’s business.

      Firstly, the sustainability of Hong Kong will finally go downhill. As the number of unemployed youths is roaring, the unemployment rate of Hong Kong rises simultaneously. What does this imply? Deterioration of labor power? A lack of new blood in the labor market? Not just these! The most serious one is that our city may not be able to keep developing; it may become less competitive than other regions like Singapore which is becoming stronger these days.

      Furthermore, facing the downward movement of competitiveness, Hong Kong citizens will lose their sense of pride. In the past, Hong Kong received glorious honors such as “Food Paradise”, “Shopping Paradise” and “the Pearl of the East”. These kinds of admirations have given Hong Kong citizens a sense of pride. However, once we lose all these positive feelings, our sense of belonging will definitely be weakened and the whole city may be surrounded by a gloomy atmosphere.

      After reading the above, are you more concerned about youth unemployment? If yes, don’t worry! There is always a way out. From my point of view, curing an existing problem from the root is the most effective measure. The government should step up the education reform to improve the education system. It is undeniable that not everyone in the world is born with a brilliant mindset and a hardworking manner. Hence, to encourage less-talented students, the government should offer more occupational courses for them so they can acquire specific working skills to have a higher possibility of being employed. Moreover, there should be further co-operation between schools and parents so as to nurture a correct and positive attitude among the youth. This must definitely help to raise the youth competitiveness.

      Youth unemployment is surely a huge problem in Hong Kong and has become a headache for the HKSAR government. Unless things change for the better, it will only create hurdles and obstacles in the path of Hong Kong development. Therefore, all citizens have to cooperate so as to create a better Hong Kong.


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