Author: Charles, Chiu Chi Cheong
Living in such an affluent city like Hong Kong, adolescents do not need to worry about the lack of daily necessities. It allows teens to spend all their time on playing video games and surf the Internet at home. A recent survey reveals that the number of NEETs in Hong Kong is growing. It is high time we delved into the reasons why young people are more likely to become NEETs in this generation. In the end of the report, I would also like to suggest some measures to help these youth and alleviate the problems caused.
The reasons of the mounting NEETs are various. The first point to note is that the ‘downward social mobility’ prompted youth to turn into NEETs. Even though Hong Kong is a wealthy city, the problem of lacking reasonably-paid jobs and high-skill jobs is still serious. Youth therefore lose hope and become deeply depressed, as they do not see much future prospect. They do not believe that education can bring them success. Besides, they even do not think that becoming a professional can ensure them to hold the rein of success. Considering these reasons, youth probably understand that they are facing a grave future and eventually choose to become NEETs.
In addition to the above point, there is no denying that permissive parenting style is another reason behind the rise of NEETs. While Hong Kong has made a huge advancement in boosting the economy, the inflation rate in Hong Kong is high. Thereby parents need to bear heavy financial burden. Facing this uphill battle, many parents are more inclined to have one child and has resulted in ‘421 family structure’ – an inverted pyramid family structure composed of four grandparents, two parents and one kid in a family. As more parents adopt the permissive parenting, being the only child in the family is becoming more pervasive. Under this overprotective environment, spoiled children are used to getting everything they want without paying much effort. They are therefore not willing to receive discipline or hardship; not willing to pursue further education or enroll in the training course; reluctant to get a job or take any responsibility. It is time for us to take the plunge and embark on some measures in order to help the NEETs in Hong Kong.
Given the downward social mobility, the government should adopt some policies to create more high-paid and high-skilled jobs in Hong Kong, such as rolling out some incentives to attract more high-tech industries and entrepreneurs to invest in Hong Kong. Not only high-paid jobs and high-skilled vocations can be created, but also more varied career paths should be offered for teens. It can push youth to strike for a better career prospect by receiving education and training, thus reducing the number of NEETs in Hong Kong.
Apart from creating more high-paid and high-skilled jobs, promoting a right parenting style to parents also plays a vital role in reducing the number of NEETS. For the sake of children, parents should give up the permissive parenting style right away. Parents should adopt a more appropriate parenting style in order not to spoil the children. We need to convey this message to the parents, tell them it is the best way to help the children to become self-reliant and responsible. Once the parents set right expectations on their children, they will eventually notice that children themselves need to take the responsibility to pursue education and training, and be able to make their own living at the end of the day. In view of this, allowing more public promotion on appropriate ways of raising children is another method of decreasing the number of NEETs in Hong Kong.
Even though the number of NEETs in Hong Kong is continually rising, there are ways to solve the problem. We need to try our best to offer them timely and appropriate help.