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The pressure of upskilling has been growing in recent years. Compared with the workforce in mainland China, Singapore and Malaysia, Hongkongers are less likely to rely on employers to ramp up their skill sets, according to recent research.

It also revealed that even with the growing interest among the younger generation towards starting their own business as mentioned in this article, Hongkongers are not as keen as other regions in East Asia to become entrepreneurs. 

Almost one-third of Hongkongers believe that their employers are committed to helping them grow professionally. In contrast, the majority of employees in mainland China (90%) put their faith in their employers.

A total of 59% of locally based respondents felt that the training and re-skilling programmes provided by their employers do not adequately equip them with the skills that they will need in the future. About 73% of respondents in mainland China and 64% of those in Singapore echoed this same sentiment.

In spite of this, 81% of employees in mainland China believe that their employers will help them re-skill and find them another position within the company if their job becomes redundant due to automation, while only about half of the respondents in Hong Kong think so. 

“When employees feel that they lack relevant skills to ensure their employability, it can impact their confidence levels in pushing boundaries. Employers who create learning and development and progression opportunities for their staff are seen as attractive employers. These could include offering job rotation programmes, having a more flexible job description, or giving their employees the opportunity to pilot new projects," said Natellie Sun, managing director of search and selection for Greater China at Randstad,

"Companies that invest in staff development will have the competitive edge of having a highly agile, flexible and skilled workforce."

Despite the increasing expectation on training, 43% of respondents would rather take the risks of starting their own business rather than re-skilling in a new field, which is slightly lower than the workforce in neighbouring countries. 

More than half (55%) of Hongkongers also feel that being an entrepreneur would bring about more opportunities, lower than respondents in mainland China (70%) and Malaysia (75%).