The Media and Communications Training Board (MCTB) under the Vocational Training Council (VTC) has released the 2019 Manpower Survey Report of Media and Communications Industry. The survey findings note that there is a steady overall manpower demand for the industry. Between 2020 and 2023, considering the industry wastage rate, around 1,400 positions will have to be recruited annually, of which over 60% come from the advertising and public relations sector. With technological advancement and an increased use of digital and social media, the industry is undergoing a gradual transformation and the demand for positions like digital media strategists, social media strategists and public relations officers who master new skills is on the rise. On the requirements of work skills, innovative media technology applications including effective use of mobile devices and interaction designs, as well as professional ethics, knowledge of media laws, multi-tasking and crisis management are all seen as essential skills / knowledge.
The manpower survey was conducted from October to December 2019. Some 1,000 media and communications establishments were randomly selected from the sectors of journalism, digital / new media, advertising and public relations as well as media production. Phone interviews were subsequently conducted in April 2020 to collect views of industry experts on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and social environment on the industry. According to the findings, as of October last year, the total workforce of the media and communications industry stood at around 44,000. Among them, close to 65% worked in the advertising and public relations sector, about 20% were employed by the media while the rest came from the media production as well as digital / new media sectors. The total workforce remained similar to that recorded in 2016 with a steady overall manpower demand.
The survey also shows that during 2016 and 2019, the number of employees engaged in public relations services increased by an average of around 6% while that of the digital / new media rose about 17%, and a rise in positions like digital media strategists and public relations officers was noted. On the other hand, a manpower drop of around 8% was recorded for the branch of newspaper and magazine.
Also pointed out in the report is that the continued pressure in the market caused by the economic contraction arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and social environment would still be affecting consumer and investment sentiments. Hence, there is an increased demand for live news reporting and in-depth analysis on current affairs and financial markets with global perspective. On the other hand, while the public are more concerned about information integrity on varying online platforms, it becomes more important to equip practitioners with professional ethics and knowledge of media laws. The COVID-19 pandemic has also catalysed consumers’ shift to using digital and online media, creating a new dynamic to the industry, further driving up the digital media market. Further, an increased demand for virtual events, e-learning, e-commerce, as well as online entertainment like video streaming and video games is registered.
In view of the expansion of digital media and mobile networks like the opportunities brought about by 5G services, the report also shows that advertisers tend to allocate a greater share to online and digital advertising. Practitioners in the advertising and public relations sector are expected to respond swiftly to the fast-changing market environment and evaluate the effectiveness of their online advertising. They also have to flexibly formulate strategies to maintain their professional service. Likewise, media production practitioners will also need to be more tech-savvy and creative in using the latest media technologies to enhance user experience. Most sectors regard web searching and web security as the top essential knowledge and skills for employees to perform social media functions, followed by social media monitoring and surveillance, sharing / posting in social media / digital platform, web analytics and curation of data and information.
Looking forward, the report notes the need to keep the industry up to date, especially in areas of application of innovative technologies, live reporting, as well as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) applications. Employers should also empower their employees with training on essential industry knowledge and skills as well as on using innovative media technologies smartly. To remain competitive, employers are also encouraged to promote lifelong learning and upskilling among their employees to meet the industry needs.
The 2019 Manpower Survey Report of Media and Communications Industry has been uploaded onto https://www.vtc.edu.hk/html/en/about/manpower_survey.html for public perusal.
The Media and Communications Training Board (MCTB) is one of 25 training boards under the VTC. The boards conduct regular surveys to collect updated information on the manpower situation of their respective industries to forecast manpower growth, ascertain training demands and formulate proposals to employers, education and training providers to meet the demands for industry professionals.
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