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Sunday, Apr 02, 2023

Science Park feels the heat in talent squeeze

Science Park feels the heat in talent squeeze

Hong Kong will need about 200,000 people with innovation and technology talents by 2030, says Science Park chief Albert Wong Hak-keung.
Wong said yesterday Science Park now has about 20,000 staff and half of them are research personnel, and there are more than 700 start-ups. The park will provide assistance with product development, investor search and market research.

Wong said the city needs more talent to establish itself as an international innovation and technology hub.

He said park officials will visit the Greater Bay Area and southeast Asia to recruit talent in May. The park will also try to get more local talent by raising secondary students' interest in IT.

Fanny Wong Sau-lai, head of talent and human resources at the park, said cooperation is afoot with secondary schools and youth organizations to bring students to the Science Park, hoping that they will have knowledge of science and technology before they select their major for undergraduate study.

The park will also provide university students with internship opportunities.

Fanny Wong said the revival of the innovation ecosystem in Hong Kong in recent years triggered the demand for technology professionals to increase greatly, and more start-ups are recruiting.

The development of an enterprise now requires various positions, in addition to programming. Other departments such as marketing and product design also generated technology-related posts, causing vacancies to outnumber applicants, she said.

But Fanny Wong said Hong Kong has advantages in the rule of law, and with the support of the motherland, there are many opportunities attractive to overseas talent.

Albert Wong also said the second phase of accommodation facility InnoCell for talent in the park is expected to be completed in 2027, which is important to attract overseas talent.

Florence Chan Hiu-ling, cofounder and chief executive of AI Guided Limited, which focuses on developing artificial intelligence applications including a smart belt with navigation and obstacle detection functions for the visually impaired, said she had encountered difficulties in recruiting as a small start-up company.

Chan said they were first aiming to employ full-time workers, but received no applications because potential applicants might choose larger and better-known companies.

Since then they turned to hire undergraduate students as part-time workers by conducting career talks in universities and providing good-performing staff with return offers.

She said the company now has some employees who accepted the return offers and worked full time after graduation.

Mattis Tsang Ho-ming, managing director of Aeroism, is developing software and hardware solutions for aviation education to make it practical and effective.

Tsang, who was a pilot, said the aviation industry also lacked talent. He had cooperated with 150 junior and primary schools to attract students to the aviation industry.

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