Eight in 10 employees across the world said the government should offer incentives such as tax rebates and subsidies if they choose to further develop their professional competencies. This sentiment is higher in Southeast Asia, as 9 per cent believe that they should receive incentives if they remain employed or have upskilled themselves. The younger employees in Hong Kong SAR demand more incentives from the government if they stay in the workforce.

Natellie Sun, Managing Director of Randstad Hong Kong said, “Supporting employees to upskill or re-skill themselves to remain competitive in the workforce is a win-win solution for both employers and government. We advise employees to deepen their professional competencies and further their education beyond diplomas through professional development programmes, workshops and online courses - particularly if it can provide a more cost-effective and flexible solution. In a talent-short market like Hong Kong SAR, employees stand a better chance for career progression and are able to command a higher salary when they continue to upskill their competencies."

The minimum sample size per market is 400 interviews.

hong kong SAR

Employees in Hong Kong SAR have a similar expectation around incentives as Malaysian employees. 91 per cent of Hong Kongers believe that the government should offer tax rebates or subsidies to encourage employees to stay employable or to develop their professional competencies. There is also a slightly higher expectation from the male population (92 per cent) than women in the workforce (90 per cent). The younger employees between the age of 18 and 34 expect more financial support from the government to acquire highly demanded skills to potentially offset or better manage the high cost of living in Hong Kong SAR.

incentives to reskilling
incentives to reskilling


Nine in 10 Malaysian employees expect more incentive support from the government to encourage them to retain their employment status. Despite it being higher than the global average, this is the lowest across the three markets. More women in the workforce said that the government should offer policy incentives (92 per cent) as compared to men (89 per cent). Unlike Hong Kong SAR, there are more experienced professionals in Malaysia (93 per cent) seeking policy incentives from the government to ensure employability.


Compared to the region, the sentiment is highest in Singapore with 92 per cent of employees seeking more incentives from the government if they stay employed. The survey also revealed a higher expectation of the government from the female population (94 per cent) than men (87 per cent). Experienced professionals are also more eager to receive these incentives than the younger population as they are likely to pay more for training programmes to deepen their professional capabilities.

policy incentives expectations

“I think that governments should offer policy incentives (e.g., taxes, subsidies) to employees if they develop professionally / learn new professional competencies/ stay employable.” (%)

government incentives for employees
government incentives for employees

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the randstad workmonitor

The Randstad Workmonitor was launched in the Netherlands in 2003, then in Germany, and now covers 33 markets around the world. The last market to join was Portugal in 2014. The study encompasses Europe, Asia Pacific and the Americas. The Randstad Workmonitor is published 4 times a year, making both local and global trends in mobility visible over time.

The Workmonitor’s Mobility Index, which tracks employee confidence and captures the likelihood of an employee changing jobs within the next 6 months, provides a comprehensive understanding of sentiments and trends in the job market. Besides mobility, the survey addresses employee satisfaction and personal motivation as well as a rotating set of themed questions.

The study is conducted online among employees aged 18-65, working a minimum of 24 hours a week in a paid job (not self-employed). The minimum sample size is 400 interviews per market. The Survey Sampling International (SSI) panel is used for sampling purposes. The fourth survey of 2017 was conducted from October 24 – November 8, 2017.

about randstad

Randstad is a global leader in the HR services industry, with Asia-Pacific operations in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong SAR, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Our offices in Southeast Asia have been supporting people and organisations in realising their true potential, helping find the best permanent and contracting talent in accounting & finance, banking & financial services, construction, property & engineering, corporate & secretarial support, human resources, information technology, legal, life science, sales, marketing & communications and supply chain & procurement.

Human connection is at the heart of our business. Our personal approach, supported by state-of-the-art technology, is what sets us apart in the world of work. We express this with a new brand promise: Human Forward.

Hear what our leaders have to say about #HumanForward or head over to our website and learn more about our Human Forward brand promise.