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HK expands talent list to 51 professions including AI specialists

HK expands talent list to 51 professions including AI specialists

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Hong Kong has expanded its talent list to include new job types such as artificial intelligence (AI) specialists, in an effort to lure overseas talent to the city.

The talent list, first created in 2018 to lure overseas professionals to the city, has increased the coverage from 13 professions to 51 under nine industry segments, aiming to attract more high-quality talent to come and meet Hong Kong's development needs. According to the Labour and Welfare Bureau, the new job types include AI specialists, cloud infrastructure specialists, software specialists, innovation and technology (I&T) experts, data scientists and cyber security specialists. The talent scheme allows these overseas workers to obtain a work visa under a fast-track arrangement.

Moreover, development and construction and healthcare services are newly-added sectors among the updated list. The rest include business support, creative industries, arts and culture, performing arts, environmental technology services, financial services, innovation and technology, legal and dispute resolution services and maritime services.

Chris Sun, the secretary for labour and welfare, said expanding the talent list is part and parcel of the government’s effort to attract talent to Hong Kong. It is a follow-up to the work plan set out by the chief executive last October. 

“The overall KPI we set for ourselves on talent is to attract at least 35,000 talents into Hong Kong each year from this year to the next two years and they are expected to stay in Hong Kong for at least 12 months through the talent admission schemes,” said Sun.

“We are confident that we are going to make that target for this year, having regard to the very positive response to the various schemes we have put in place to attract talent from out of Hong Kong to Hong Kong to help us grow our economy,” he added.

Don't miss: #ExplainIt: HK marketers on how the industry can lure back top talent

The changes will apply immediately to the General Employment Policy (GEP), the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals (ASMTP), and the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS).

Under the QMAS, eligible applicants who meet the requirements of respective professions on the list will be awarded 30 bonus points under the general points test to stand a much better chance of approval. Employers recruiting talent under the GEP and the ASMTP to fill vacancies falling under the professions on the list are not required to provide proof to substantiate their difficulties in local recruitment when making applications, thus shortening the time for employers to recruit outside talent.

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