The Greater Bay Area Youth Employment Scheme launched in 2021 has attracted more than 1,000 young Hong Kong people to work and pursue their careers in Chinese mainland cities. The scheme is part of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government's efforts to contribute to national development.
Michelle Leung Yin Ting is one of thousands hired by the mainland companies under the Greater Bay Area Youth Employment Scheme.
This is her fifth year living on the Chinese mainland, and her first year working at the world-leading tech giant Tencent. She graduated from Peking University and moved to Shenzhen for the job.
She said the fast and vibrant pace of life is what makes Shenzhen appealing to the younger generation.
She considers Shenzhen as a place where youths can unleash their creativity, explore different job opportunities, and can also enjoy a diversity of different cultures, food and people.
The Greater Bay Area Youth Employment Scheme offers 2,000 job positions in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA). The Hong Kong youths who have earned a bachelor's degree or above are eligible for the scheme. And they are guaranteed a minimum monthly salary of 18,000 Hong Kong dollars ($2,000).
"A lot of young people from Hong Kong may know a lot about [the] mainland from news and social media, but as for me, I am living and working in Shenzhen, part of the GBA, I am now emerging myself, l can see a lot of fancy opportunities and fancy thing around us. So I really hope young people could cross the boundary, come to Shenzhen, to explore different opportunities," said Michelle.
According to the latest survey by the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, 64 percent of respondents are willing to join Greater Bay Area-based work experience programs or internships.
The most attractive factors to these youths are career prospects, market size, social networking and training opportunities, the percentage of which stood respectively at 84.1 percent, 84 percent, 70.7 percent and 70.4 percent.
"Since 2019, we have put forward a program to help Hong Kong students understand the scientific and technological development, as well as the employment needs of enterprises in the Greater Bay Area, to meet their needs and enrich their extra-curricular activities," said Cai Zhihua, director of Campus Recruiting Program at Tencent.
"Since 2020, we have collaborated with the Hong Kong SAR government on the GBA Youth Employment Scheme. So far, there are nearly 200 Hong Kong youths working at Tencent," Cai said.
Exposure to both Western and Eastern culture has given young Hong Kong people an advantage in securing new jobs or starting their own businesses in the open and economically vibrant region of the Greater Bay Area.
Michelle said after experiencing mainland culture and conducting in-depth exchanges with the people, she feels her life is more connected to the mainland.