SCMP Wednesday, November 7, 2001

Mainland jobs 'may not suit SAR staff'


Hong Kong workers should think carefully about chasing jobs on the mainland as they might not be competitive enough, the Institute of Human Resources Management said yesterday.
The warning came after several local business leaders and senior SAR officials urged middle-ranking professionals to look for opportunities on the mainland as Hong Kong's economy suffers amid the global downturn.
The institute said that while China's entry into the World Trade Organisation and the choice of Beijing to host the 2008 Olympic Games might create many opportunities, local workers might not be in a position to take advantage.
"In the past 20 years, China has trained up a group of high-calibre middle- and lower-management personnel which is backed up by an enormous production team," the institute's China human resources committee co-chairman, Mak Ping-on, said.
"The type of talent the mainland is looking for may not be compatible with that currently available in Hong Kong. What it means is that although there may be lots of job vacancies in China, Hong Kong people may not be right for them."
According to the institute's own study, the mainland was mainly looking for highly professional, top-level management personnel, Mr Mak said.
He also pointed out that working in China was a complicated matter.
"For a start, you have to understand the place. If you have never been to the mainland, you need to go there to get a feel of life yourself," he said.
"You also have to ask yourself if you can really adjust to life there - such as whether you have the required language skills, Putonghua and English. It is no use if you can only speak fluent Cantonese.
"Furthermore, you need to accept their culture and understand their system."