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Hong Kong CIOs’ reactions to government’s HK$50 billion investment in technology

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Earlier this year, the Financial Secretary Paul Chan published the 2018-19 Budget, which included allocating more than HK$50 billion to the technology sector. A recent survey of 75  Hong Kong chief information officers revealed their thoughts on how the government’s investment could impact the recruitment process and IT employees.

IT leaders expect the investment will lead to salary rises of the average IT employee (48%) and increase IT job openings (43%). The remaining positive impacts include a boost in productivity (32%), innovation (21%) and attractiveness of a career in IT (20%).

Despite the generally promising future outlook, the underlying concern of the talent drought may suggest that even with the extra funds, the search for good talent will remain difficult.

Nearly all the leaders (96%) reflected the existing talent pool doesn’t have the necessary skills for the future. Comparing with IT recruitment in 2013, it is more daunting now for them to source (92%) and be able to acquire qualified IT professionals (88%).

“The government, business community and educational institutions must come together to find ways to tackle the skills shortage such as increasing the influx of local candidates, making it less challenging to bring in foreign talent and marketing IT as an attractive career path,” said Adam Johnston, managing director of Robert Half.

“Local businesses also need to focus more on professional development and training of existing staff to fill crucial skill gaps within their own organisation. Increased government investment within the IT sector will no doubt go a long way in facilitating such initiatives.”

The HK$50 billion budget includes a series of measures in infrastructure development, research and development collaboration and nurturing start-ups to support Hong Kong’s innovation and technology development.

The major projects are developing the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park in Lok Ma Chau Loop; the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation for constructing research infrastructure and facilities; raising the Innovation and Technology Fund and eliminating some criteria; and launching the Technology Talent Scheme.

Photo/ China daily

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