The no.1 way to make a head start on creating a sustainable workforce is by investing in hiring, upskilling, and training talent, as shared by 64% of the 213 business leaders polled in the HKSAR.
Hong Kong ranks 23rd in global skills, ahead of both Taiwan and China, but lagging behind Japan, Singapore and Vietnam.
When it comes to soft skills, more than half value teamwork (57%) and communication (55%); while for hard skills, analytical (53%) and high-level IT skills (49%) came out top.
However, the average number of annual training hours per employee and the training budgets recorded the lowest levels in a decade.
While employees and employers alike are seeing the need for upskilling, many surveyed cite a lack of time as a top challenge in doing so - for instance, employees are too busy with work (49% of employees) or it disrupts day-to-day operations (58% of employers).
When given the opportunities to learn, access to technology or infrastructure remains a major hurdle for Hongkongers to improve their skills and future job prospects, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers' recent report.
One in two respondents in Hong Kong said that they struggle to acquire new skills to adapt to the pandemic in their current jobs, according to Randstad's latest report.
English is considered the world’s lingua franca. Cities with higher English proficiency are generally more competitive for business, but where does Hong Kong sit among its Asian neighbours?