Employers view youngsters as inferior


6C Kwok Yip Ling, Elaine


You read from the news that some employers are having a low opinion of the local young people. They are viewed as less valuable due to their poor attitude. You are worried about this phenomenon and have therefore decided to write a letter to a local newspaper Hong Kong Post to voice your opinion. In your letter, explain why the view might be unfair to some young employees. You also express your concern for them and give advice to improve the situation. Sign your letter ‘Pat Li’. Do not write an address.


Dear Editor,


I am writing to express my concern over the situation of local young people being looked down upon by the older generations and would like to give some advice on how to improve the situation.  In today’s society, it is not uncommon to hear that employers and university professors complain about how incompetent and unskilled our youngsters are.  However, I sing a different tune on this issue and believe that it would be quite unfair to generalize the phenomenon.


First and foremost, youngsters are inexperienced compared with other senior staff and it is not justified to expect a newly recruited worker to have outstanding performance in a short period of time.  Young people are still fresh in the workplace and it is understandable that they lack adequate skills and confidence while handling tasks.  In other words, youngsters may not be having poor attitude or being immature, they simple lack the chance to improve and showcase their talents.  Therefore, it is unfair to consider youngsters as less valuable before providing them with adequate training and guidance.


Apart from being inexperienced, it would also be unfair for the public to compare youngsters in this era with those in the past.  People decades ago generally were born to some working class families and their resources were limited.  Most young people had to solve problems and deal with obstacles by themselves.  Many children ended up working in factories after graduating from primary schools and few of them were fortunate enough to be able to rely on their parents totally.  However, as the economy has been prospering in these years and most families only have few children, a lot of them are living in the greenhouse under the protection from their family members. This leads to the problem that some youngsters are not equipped with problem solving skills but the public should not be putting all the blame on them.


As the problem is getting increasingly serious, people from all sectors of society should spare no pains to cope with the problem; otherwise, youngsters would be considered as the society’s burden instead of its crucial pillars.


One of the solutions is that the employers should provide guidelines for the newly recruited freshmen in order to help them adapt to the new working environment and blend in with other colleagues more smoothly.  In the training and development process of human resources management, it is vitally important for the senior staff to motivate and provide their subordinates with feedbacks constantly as this would better improve the performance of employees and hence their problem solving skills. Through receiving frequent guidelines from their supervisors, youngsters would have the feeling of being recognized and be empowered to outperform their task and gain the respect from their bosses and colleagues.


Another solution is that the government should provide companies with incentives to employ local graduates but not only those from the Mainland.  The Hong Kong government can certainly learn from the Japanese government’s policy of providing subsidies to companies that employ local graduates for a year or more.  This policy can provide more opportunities for local young people to be employed while the company can also benefit from the government subsidies, leading to a win-win situation.  The time frame of the policy also enables employers to observe the capability of fresh employees and provide them with suitable training scheme, changing the current misconception of ‘youngsters are incompetent’.


The flexible and efficient local labour has long been contributing to the flourishing development of our vibrant city.  Our new generation is no exception.  In the face of the keen competition with the workers coming from the mainland and all round the world in the job market, our young people need more chances and training to help them exploit their potential and demonstrate their abilities to contribute to society.



Yours faithfully,

Pat Li

Pat Li