90% of Employers Prefer to Hire Graduates Based on Real Work Experience Rather Than Education Background

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New Incubation Program Held by Hong Kong Nang Yan College of Higher Education Aims to Help Students "Win at the Starting Line"

HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach – 12 July 2022 – The economy decreased due to economic strain during the pandemic. Additionally, the number of people with a bachelor’s degree from college or university increased drastically, which may result in having more difficulties in pursuing a career. According to the recent data shown in Note 1 and provided by the Education Grants Committee, the unemployment rate of university graduates in 2021 was 2.9%, which hit a new high in the past 11 years. To learn about the job-hunting status quo of local graduates, Hong Kong Nang Yan College of Higher Education entrusted the market research company, Hong Kong Healthcare Market Research and Consulting Ltd. to carry out market research. In this way, they can understand the reason behind this questionnaire, “Employers Choice of the Local Graduates”, and their opinion on the Incubation Lifelong Learning Scheme.

90% of Employees Value “Internship Experience” Rather Than “Academic Background”

Hong Kong Healthcare Market Research and Consulting Ltd. conducted a market survey in June 2022 asking for the opinion of different enterprises. They interviewed employers and asked them about their opinion on local graduates and what are job requirements. In the end they received 109 “Employers Choice of Local Graduates” effective questionnaires According to the questionnaire results found in Note 2, we found that nearly 70% (68.8%) of employers have confirmed that they may consider hiring a new graduate in the second half of the year. Nearly 90% (89.9%) of respondents have confirmed that they might consider hiring a recent college graduate with relevant work experience even though the graduate may not have a degree relevant to job requirements.

In terms of considering hiring recent college graduates, employers have set priorities in job competency. They think the graduates should have the following competencies: “IT application know-how and prospect” (81.6%), “relevant internship experience” (62.4%), and “candidates should have studied relevant subjects” (60.5%). Over half (57.3%) of employers who hired graduates said they were satisfied with their overall job performance. In addition, 59.6% of employers believe that graduates should “quickly absorb knowledge or skills at work” and 56.2% of employers think graduates should “have strong IT skills”. Moon Wong, Director at Hong Kong Healthcare Market Research and Consulting Ltd. said “graduates still have many chances to find a job during the pandemic even though the economy has decreased and the employment market is under pressure. Compared to academic background and achievements, employers value work experience even more. If students have similar work experience, chances are they are more likely to get hired.”

Hong Kong Nang Yan College of Higher Education’s New Program Enables Students to Find a Job After Graduation

Hong Kong Nang Yan College of Higher Education realized the local market demand for college graduates and its expectation. It proposed the Incubation Lifelong Learning Scheme, allowing students to learn in the real world so that they are equipped with professional skills and can be more competitive. Prof. Wong, Kwok Shing Thomas, Acting Principal Professor at the Hong Kong Nang Yan College of Higher Education said, “ILLS allows students to learn from theory and practice at the same time by putting what they’ve learned into practice.”

ILLS gives students a chance to get involved with the industry they may be interested in. Under the instruction of mentors, students can learn the job properties, operational situations, and prospects. In addition, it may inspire students to develop creative thinking and potential. It creates a learning platform for students to put learning into practice. Meanwhile, the program will invite some specialists who can lend a hand to join the institution and save resources. It also allows current employees at the institution to learn something because “In teaching others we teach ourselves.” In this way, we can promote a culture of self-directed lifelong learning where everyone in the institution can take social responsibility and have an influence on people so that the overall brand image can be improved. We’ve already invited several institutions to join this program. In the future, we welcome more enterprises or institutions to support and join us.

1 Profession, 2 Skills, 3 Experience, and 4 Immeasurables

Prof. Tse, Heung Wing Ricky, the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at the Hong Kong Nang Yan College of Higher Education said the program can bring the following: “1 Profession, 2 Skills, 3 Experiences, and 4 Immeasurables”. Among them, “1 Profession” means the professional courses available at the Hong Kong Nang Yan College of Higher Education as specified in Appendix 1, including the Diploma in Foundation Studies for Higher Education. It helps students to lay the groundwork for generic skills while absorbing specialized knowledge. Next, the Higher Diploma in Health Management in an Ageing Society (HDHMAS) allows students to have a chance to apply theories and put them into practice after learning from professional instructors. The Chinese Studies Bachelor of Arts (Honors) offers courses that teach students to learn from history to look into the future. We’ve invited several famous sinologists to our school to teach students, which helps them build a foundation for language and academic studies. The Bachelor of Social Work (Honors) emphasizes community practices so that students can put themselves in someone else’s shoes, and learn about social problems. In addition, the Nursing Council of Hong Kong will run an assessment on the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Honors) courses. Hopefully, we can open courses soon. “2 Skills” means that students are required to acquire credits from elective courses in other specialized disciplines such as Health-Related Physical Fitness, Fashion Design, Chinese and Chinese Culture, Buddhism, Cosmetic Surgery, Digital Marketing, Creative Media, Consultancy, and other disciplines in addition to professional courses. This can improve cross-disciplinary generic skills to deal with diversity and enhance competitiveness for employment. “3 Experiences” means except for experiencing the selected professional courses and the group specialized subjects, students can gain valuable work experience from the “Incubation Lifelong Learning Scheme” and develop practical skills at the workplace under the instruction of “the master”. “4 Immeasurables” means the College values the four kindnesses of “Love, Compassion, Joy, and Equanimity”, and works hard to develop the right understanding in students. It allows them to inherit the cultural essence and learn peace and happiness in life, which can reveal the wisdom of realization of self-nature.

The Program Gains Corporate Support: 80% of Employers Will First Consider Hiring Participating Students

As for employers’ opinions on the “Incubation Lifelong Learning Scheme”, we found that based on this survey result, more than half (56%) of employers are interested in becoming one of the ILLS members. Employers think the program can fully leverage a company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) (47.7%), which can enable the culture of lifelong self-learning (39.4%) and enhance corporate image (38.5%). The survey also showed that roughly 80% (77.1%) of employers pointed out that students who joined this program will be more likely to be hired. The social enterprise owner of Woopie Social Enterprises Limited, Mr. Chan Chi-yuk, Kenneth and Chairman & CEO at Hong Kong Medical Consultants, Prof. Tsang, Wah Tak, both agreed that they accept the survey results. They tend to hire graduates with internship experience and will support the Hong Kong Nang Yan College of Higher Education to promote the Incubation Lifelong Learning Scheme. They think it’s crucial to introduce this program to talent cultivation in Hong Kong, and hope that they can help graduates successfully find the job they want in the job market through this platform.

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