Hong Kong’s Workforce Driving Their Own Skills Dev’t Agenda

Most Hong Kong candidates are driving their own professional development agenda rather than looking to their employer to provide training, according to recruiting experts Hays.

In the latest Hays poll, a massive 77 per cent of Hong Kong respondents take responsibility for developing their skills using a combination of self-learning and leveraging on-the job experience.

A further 12 per cent look to formal courses to add to their skill set while only 11 per cent rely on their employer to provide training and development.

Dean Stallard, Regional Director of Hays in Hong Kong, says the poll results are positive but he also has a warning for career-minded candidates about relying solely on informal methods of skills development.

“Unlike past generations, Hong Kong’s workforce of today is far more proactive in keeping up with the changing demands for specific skills and knowledge related to their job and sector,” says Dean.

“There is much to be gained from making the most of mentors and stretch goals at work to take your skills to the next level. Online courses also make it that much easier to keep up with the skills and knowledge needed in your sector,” he says.

“My one note of warning about relying on informal learning would be for career-minded candidates to keep up with the formal qualifications trending in their sector. For some job roles, employers require specific tertiary qualifications and even post graduate qualifications and so they won’t accept anything less,” Dean says.

The poll was conducted across five key Asian employment markets with self-learning and on-the-job experience ranking as the preferred method of skills building in all locations.

Mainland Chinese respondents were the most proactive with 78 per cent of respondents reporting using self-learning and on-the-job experience to build skills compared to 77 per cent in Singapore, 72 per cent in Japan and 69 per cent in Malaysia.

Malaysia has the largest proportion of workers relying on their employers to provide training and development at 26 per cent compared to 20 per cent of respondents in Japan, 16 per cent in Singapore and 13 per cent in mainland China, according to the Hays poll.

Using formal courses to build skills was the least used option in all locations apart from Hong Kong with 9 per cent of candidates in mainland China using this method compared to 7 per cent in Singapore, 5 per cent in Malaysia and 8 per cent in Japan.

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