Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Growth Company Launches ‘Jobs for Hongkongers’ in the North West

  • Wednesday, September 13, 2023
  • The Growth Company (GC) will deliver Jobs for Hongkongers across the North West of England, including in Greater Manchester, Lancashire, and Merseyside.
  • The initiative aims to provide employment support to Hong Kong BN(O) nationals in the region through a dedicated website and advice service.
  • We are working with local employers that have committed to offering good job opportunities in a supportive environment.

The Growth Company is pleased to announce the launch of Jobs for Hongkongers.

The initiative, which builds on the success of United for Ukraine, is funded by the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) through a regional and national VCSE grant. It aims to help Hong Kong BN(O) nationals in the North West of England into sustained employment.

Hongkongers in the region will be able to search a wide range of job vacancies across different sectors – including full-time and part-time roles – on our purpose-built bilingual website. All listed positions have been submitted by employers that have pledged to promote an inclusive and supportive working environment.

In addition, the programme will provide a Cantonese support service to help applicants overcome any linguistic, cultural, or skills barriers.

Background: A Growing Community

The demand and rationale for such a service are clear.

Since January 2021, when the UK government introduced the Hong Kong British National (Overseas) visa route, around 176,000 Hongkongers have successfully applied for BN(O) status. According to the Home Office, this figure is expected to increase to between 258,000 and 322,400 by 2026.

BN(O) visas give people the right to live, study, and work in the UK for two and a half or five years without recourse to state benefits or public funds. After five years, BN(O) holders can apply for permanent residence.

While many Hongkongers who have moved to the UK are highly qualified and skilled, adjusting to life in a new country can be difficult, especially when it has different norms and expectations around work.

Indeed, a recent study by Trafford Hongkongers CIC and eight other community-led organisations revealed that 67.3 percent of those surveyed said language was a significant barrier to employment. Although many Hongkongers learn to read and write English from a young age, understanding its spoken form can sometimes be challenging.  

Participants also mentioned understanding UK workplace culture (49.7 percent), interview etiquette (47.1 percent), labour market requirements (42.8 percent), communicating with colleagues (37 percent), and writing CVs and cover letters (34.6 percent) as potential obstacles.

The Benefits of Employment Support

Fortunately, none of these are insurmountable.

Jo Li stands as a case in point. He moved to Chester from Hong Kong around two years ago and secured a role at the Growth Company, quickly earning a promotion to Marketing Business Partner.

Michelle Leeson, Managing Director of GC Employment, said: “Many Hongkongers have settled in the North West over the past few years. In line with our commitment to empower people and make a positive difference, we are determined to ensure that everyone can realise their ambitions and full potential when it comes to work.

“That is why we have teamed up with a diverse group of public, private, and voluntary sector partners to provide employment support and opportunities for Hong Kong BN(O) residents in the region. 

“The ongoing success of the United for Ukraine programme demonstrates the importance of such initiatives – to individuals, employers, and communities alike.”

Find Out More

If you are a Hong Kong BN(O) national in the North West and you are interested in learning more about the support services we offer or browsing available vacancies, visit the Jobs for Hongkongers website.

If you are an employer or employment support provider in the North West and want to get involved in the initiative, contact us today.

GC Employment

GC Employment helps people from all walks of life and companies in a range of sectors find the jobs or candidates to suit their needs.

We run employment services across Greater Manchester, the Liverpool City Region, Lancashire, Cheshire, and Yorkshire and Humber.

Get in touch today to find out more.