Graduates Make the Grade
Graduates Make the Grade

New graduates worldwide have been hit hard by the economic turmoil caused by the pandemic. Progressive companies like CLP are giving them extra help to get a foot on the career ladder – and in turn are being rewarded with dynamic young professionals to help shape the future.


The pandemic has battered the global economy and left many young people struggling to gain a foothold in the working world in an age of diminishing opportunity.


‘Pandemials’ trying to begin careers face unprecedented challenges in the most acutely depressed job market for decades. Youth employment fell by 8.7% in 2020, far greater than the 3.7% decline in adult employment, according to the World Economic Forum.


As one of Hong Kong’s largest employers, CLP Holdings Limited (CLP) has taken a lead in confronting the issue. It has established a CLP Graduate Internship Programme in addition to its regular trainee programmes to strengthen support for young people impacted by the pandemic.


The move reflects CLP’s long-standing commitment to encourage youth development and build a young and vibrant workforce. “Our future is in the hands of young people, and it rests on us to create hope for them,” CLP Chairman Sir Michael Kadoorie once said.


The programme, launched in 2020, provides 12 months of full-time training to fresh university graduates, giving them practical work experience in departments including engineering, environmental affairs, information technology, finance, sales and marketing, and human resources.


New graduates worldwide have been hit hard by the economic turmoil caused by the pandemic.
New graduates worldwide have been hit hard by the economic turmoil caused by the pandemic.

The CLP Graduate Internship Programme is already bearing fruit with enthusiastic, inquisitive interns gaining the skills and expertise to make them invaluable components in the Group's increasingly agile, sustainable workforce. 


Turning despair into hope

Aaron Ng and Jeanne Sze joined the Graduate Internship Programme with 58 other young people in 2020. One year on, the experience has transformed their lives.

Watch the video and hear more about the experiences of programme participants.



Jeanne Sze was in despair after losing her job when COVID-19 struck. The CLP Graduate Internship Programme rekindled her optimism and provided her with a year of intensive training at a time when the job market was in the doldrums.


“The programme has not only successfully turned my dream of being a power engineer into reality, it has also broadened my horizons and helped build an invaluable network to develop my career,” she reflects.


After completing her internship, Jeanne was accepted on the CLP Graduate Trainee Programme and now works in the company’s transmission department.


“I am looking forward to continuing to learn from experienced colleagues, so that I can go on to become an excellent power engineer,” Jeanne says.



Jeanne Sze (left) now works in CLP’s transmission department and is on her way to becoming an engineer.
Jeanne Sze (left) now works in CLP’s transmission department and is on her way to becoming an engineer.



Injecting fresh perspectives

Social science graduate Aaron Ng was downcast after sending out more than 100 job applications and receiving no positive responses. CLP threw him a lifeline by offering him an internship as an assistant in the department of business strategy and innovation, where he works in data analysis.


“I am hugely grateful for the strong support given by companies like CLP to young people during these difficult times when grim economic realities reduce openings in the job market,” Aaron says.


Although he had no previous experience of data analysis, Aaron’s on-the-job training and work experience quickly ignited a passion for it. “My advice to fellow graduates is to broaden your horizons and look for new opportunities,” he says.


Aaron’s supervisor Shirley Kwok says he has been a hugely positive addition to the team. “His social sciences background is very different from most of the colleagues in our department, who are mostly mathematicians and statisticians. He brings new perspectives to our work,” she remarked.


Graduate intern Aaron Ng
Graduate intern Aaron Ng.

“He is energetic and keen to explore his limits, while keeping himself up speed to meet job requirements. He impressed us all by working out a data model for a new service within a week to address an urgent request.”


Shirley stresses it is important to be receptive to ideas from young minds to unleash their potential. “It is beneficial to our business as it builds a sustainable workforce,” she says.


A future of youthful optimism

The CLP Graduate Internship Programme has been such a success that it is extended for a second year in 2021, offering around 50 more internships to fresh university graduates.


CLP also offers a range of other internship and trainee programmes to attract talent and build the power expertise required to excel in a fast-changing global business environment.


The stories of Jeanne and Aaron prove there is opportunity even in the most challenging of economic times and show how – with the right support and guidance – young people will always find a way to realise their dreams and aspirations.