How do Hong Kong IT leaders fill skill shortages gap?

Around 3 in 5 are reskilling workers from similar industries.

Around 59% of Hong Kong IT leaders are reskilling workers from similar industries in order to address skill shortages for tech roles as the market saw around 140,000 people leave the workforce in the past two years based on the Policy Address, according to digital infrastructure firm Equinix.

In a report, Equinix also found that 42% of the leaders are also trying to ramp up their workforce by recruiting from unrelated sectors.

The report found that the most common sources of reskilled workers are administration and business support (31%), finance and insurance (33%), manufacturing (24%), and those returning to work after a period of absence (22%).

READ MORE: Over 65% of Hong Kongers struggle with work-life balance

Equinix said the reskilled workers usually help businesses “bridge the tech skill gaps” by working as IT technicians (49%), AI/machine learning (35%), and security analyst (34%).

It added that tech companies in the market that provide training and development opportunities are poised to attract talent in line with the new talent initiatives and the improvement of the technology talent scheme as announced in the Policy Address.

“The latest Policy Address attempts to directly tackle the issue of attracting new tech talent and retaining top-notch performers in our city to increase Hong Kong’s competitiveness. As the need for technical skills will only grow over time, forward-looking initiatives like the Strategic Tech Fund will be paramount to building a stronger foundation for innovation in the years to come,” said Larry Tam, Managing Director at Equinix Hong Kong.

“With ongoing plans to digitize the government within a two-year span, Equinix will continue to collaborate with the government and partners to nurturing tech talent to support the digital economy,” Tam added.

The report found that the “relatively prominent” tech skill gap for professionals in Hong Kong is present in AI/machine learning aptitude (32%) compared to other locations in Asia-Pacific, followed by IT technicians (29%) and data analysis skillsets (21%).

IT decision-makers in Hong Kong expect a rise in the shortage of AI/machine learning skillsets (34%) and will remain the biggest tech skill gap three years from now. It is followed by cloud computing (23%) and security engineering (23%). 

Around 55% of IT leaders in Hong Kong also cited the retention of current talent as the biggest challenge to their businesses, whilst for Hong Kong businesses, the top challenges were providing favourable pay and compensation packages (39%) and adequate training (34%).

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