SCMP Monday, November 12, 2001

20pc of HK youth fear blow to jobs


one in five young people are worried about their employment prospects and fear a fall in Hong Kong's competitiveness with the admission of China into the WTO , a survey has found.
The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups' study of 540 people aged 15 to 34 found that 26 per cent were happy and proud China had joined the world trade body, 63 per cent had no reaction and six per cent
voiced concern .
Thirty-seven per cent said the biggest benefit of China's entry would be felt through
furthering the mainland's economic development , while 24 per cent claimed it would help raise the international status of the country .
On the potential impact on Hong Kong, nearly three in five people surveyed agreed there would be
more business opportunities created , but more than half thought the SAR would lose some of its competitiveness .
More than 20 per cent said
the admission had dampened confidence about their employment prospects and 24 per cent were worried they might not be good enough to compete.
Sixty-three per cent said they would take further studies and
learn to speak fluent Putonghua to increase their prospects .
Fifty-four per cent said they would try to
increase their knowledge of China, while a similar proportion wanted to visit and spend time on the mainland.
Of those who believed the admission would
have a positive impact on some industries, 15 per cent said they would join the trading and logistics sector as a result, followed closely by those who would work in tourism, catering or telecommunications.
Only 26 per cent said they were prepared to work on the mainland.