IT re-training programs
Also, since the supply for labor bends backwards at some wage level, this means that at some point, a worker will be satisfied with his wage level and refuse to work anymore. This backward bending curve is related to the standard of living hence in undeveloped areas of the mainland, the workers will work much longer hours than workers in HK who will reduce working hours with the help of trade unions. (ref. Fig 4 and Fig. 5) However, there are solutions to the unemployment caused and that is to retrain office workers and/or those with secondary school education with new skills so that they can access different jobs.
This will have to be done by the government, as it will be the only one with sufficient resources and power. In fact, re-training for workers has already taken especially IT courses and this has been proved by my survey. (ref. Fig. 5 and Appendix 4) However, a new problem is arosed and that is whether or not the workers will be fairly rewarded with higher wages when they have equipped themselves with new skills. This is a serious dilemma since apparently, there is not a system to justly measure the appropriate wage levels meant for different skilled workers.
Hence the government and employer need to think about that before they think of a re-training program. LOOKING AT IT FROM ANOTHER POINT OF VIEW (ref. Appendix 2) While many agree on the fact that mass employment is bound to be caused, some aren’t so pessimistic about it. Mr. Henry Wong Ying who is a business manager says that if semi-skilled workers are enthusiastic about re-training, then they will still have a bright future in front of them. Also, as Dr Lin puts it, jobs will be of more interest when the re-trained people are doing it since they will be capable of doing more interesting jobs outside the area of filing and clerical work.
CONCLUSION From my point of view, there is really no solution to the problems caused by IT other than to re-train the white-collar workers and to accept it as a fact. However, we also have to look at it from the workers’ point of view, they may not appear enthusiastic at the thought of entering IT re-training programs for a number of reasons: a) They may have completely no knowledge about IT and so may be afraid to touch it. b) They may have a family to take care of and may not have the time to do it.
c) They may worry about the wage they will receive and consider whether or not it will be worth it. These are all reasons why workers may not want to participate in re-training programs for IT and hence they may be the reasons causing the unemployment and low morale amongst workers. However, it is not just technology which is causing unemployment, there are other factors which have all helped shaped this present labor market e. g. the South-East Asian crash in 1997 which caused financial crisis in the whole of South East Asia.
Hence, we cannot blame technology completely for the high unemployment rate now. EVALUATION I am aware of the fact that there are weaknesses in my investigation and that they have affected its accuracy. For example, from my questionnaire, the results showed that 57% of the people had received IT re-training and 63% sensed job insecurity due to the emergence of IT. However, I must say that the people who agreed to fill in my questionnaire mostly worked in offices and were of low managerial status e. g. secretary, clerical officers etc.
Therefore, if I had interviewed another category of people, then I would have probably got different results hence the outcomes from my questionnaire could be biased. Another weakness involved in my piece of coursework was the fact that I was only able to obtain occupational statistics for a period of ten years hence it may have affected the accuracy of it. If I were able to get hold of results for a period of a longer time, then I would probably be able to draw slightly different conclusions from it. However, in general I think I have done my best and so I am quite content with it regardless of the weaknesses involved.