The city’s chief executive has revealed a series of policies to facilitate further business integration between Hong Kong and the mainland, including handing out salary subsidies to encourage the recruitment of Hongkongers in the mainland.

Carrie Lam policy address
Carrie Lam. Photo: Candice Chau/HKFP.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced the details at her 2020 policy address at the legislature on Wednesday. HK$430 million for the salary scheme will be taken from the Covid-19 relief fund, a government source said.

Under the new Greater Bay Area Youth Employment Scheme, businesses with operations in both Hong Kong and the mainland can apply to the government for salary subsidies to recruit a total of 2,000 Hongkongers who have graduated between 2019 and 2021. Those who have completed bachelors’ or post-graduate programmes in Hong Kong will be eligible.

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The scheme is geared towards attracting young Hong Kong professionals to work in the mainland, a government source said, and there will be no age requirement. The government has so far received enthusiastic response from mainland companies, they added.

Subsidised work. Photo: Pixabay.

Of the subsidised job quota, 400 posts are reserved for the innovation and technology sector, with the rest for other sectors, a government spokesperson said. The Hong Kong government will subsidise HK$18,000 each month for each job in the innovation and technology sector which pays a minimum monthly salary of HK$26,000 – meaning the employer would have to pay at least HK$8,000.

Other jobs are required to have a salary of at least HK$18,000, with HK$10,000 being the maximum subsidy. The subsidies will be provided for 18 months.

Recruitment must take place in accordance with Hong Kong labour laws and the candidates must have legal work status in Hong Kong. They do not have to be permanent residents.

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Selina Cheng

Selina Cheng

Selina Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist who previously worked with HK01, Quartz and AFP Beijing. She also covered the Umbrella Movement for AP and reported for a newspaper in France. Selina has studied investigative reporting at the Columbia Journalism School.