TechTAS scheme may help solve HK’s tech talent shortage

Robert Half says the TechTAS scheme must be accompanied by a focus on education (Image anyaberkut / iStockPhoto)

The HKSAR government’s recently announced Technology Talent Admission Scheme (TechTAS) could be crucial to helping solve Hong Kong’s ongoing technology skills shortage, according to recruitment company Robert Half.

Under the new pilot scheme, companies within Science Park and Cyberport will be able to more easily recruit foreign talent, with fast-track immigration arrangements available for up to 1,000 professionals.

Robert Half’s recent 2018 Salary Guide found that 92% of Hong Kong CIOs find it challenging to source qualified IT professionals, with the most in demand roles including fullstack software developers, application or product support managers and IT security specialists.

The survey also found that 71% of CIOs are willing to pay a higher starting salary to IT jobseekers with previous project experience.

According to Robert Half Hong Kong managing director Adam Johnson, the IT skills shortage has been a concern in the IT industry for several years, and is having a significant impact on business operations.

“The government scheme aimed at expanding the IT talent pool accessible by Hong Kong employers is expected to provide great support to businesses in the city in the short term,” he said.

“However, Hong Kong is also competing on a regional and even international scale to attract suitably skilled and qualified IT professionals. To address the skills shortage in the long term with a more sustainable approach, education systems and institutions play a key role in providing a continuous influx of skilled local IT talent into the employment market and upskilling existing staff.”

Ultimately a comprehensive approach is needed involving education institutions working in conjunction with the wider business community, potentially supported by government initiatives, he said.

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