For discussion
on 6 February 1998


Subhead 001 Salaries

Members are invited to recommend to Finance Committee the creation of the following permanent post in the Education and Manpower Bureau of the Government Secretariat with effect from 1 April 1998 -

1 Administrative Officer Staff Grade C
(D2) ($110,000 - $116,800)


The Education and Manpower Bureau (EMB) does not have adequate staffing support at the directorate level in the long term to cope with the workload arising from the growing complexity and volume of work on human resource development and related matters.


2. The Secretary for Education and Manpower (SEM) proposes to create one permanent post of Administrative Officer Staff Grade C (AOSGC) (D2) with effect from 1 April 1998, upon the lapse of a supernumerary AOSGC post on the same date, to cope with the increasing workload in respect of human resource development and other related issues.


The existing structure of EMB

3. At present, SEM is assisted by three Deputy Secretaries and nine Principal Assistant Secretaries (PASs) 1. An organisation chart of EMB and the responsibilities of the nine PASs are at Enclosures 1 and 2 respectively.

Need for a new permanent post

4. In February 1996, Members approved the creation of a supernumerary AOSGC post, designated as PAS(EM)5, for an initial period of two years up to 31 March 1998 to undertake policy work in relation to the review on industrial safety, employment related aspects of foreign domestic helpers (FDH), vocational training, age discrimination in employment and issues relating to the Asian Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) [EC(95-96)82]. In the ensuing months, however, there was a substantial increase in the scope of work on industrial safety as a result of heightened public concern and public expectation in this area, as well as the extension of occupational safety and health protection to employees in the non-industrial sectors. Accordingly, we obtained approval in November 1996 to create a permanent AOSGC post, designated as PAS(EM)7, from 1 January 1997 to deal with policy issues relating to industrial safety [EC(96-97)45].

Increase in workload of PAS(EM)5

5. On the other hand, the workload of PAS(EM)5 has increased considerably since the creation of the post in April 1996. At that time we were about to begin the strategic and organisational review of the Vocational Training Council (VTC). In June 1997, we accepted the general direction of the numerous recommendations arising from the consultancy. Follow-up work on implementing these recommendations now becomes increasingly complex, as they involve such issues as the relationship between the VTC and Government, the organisation and management structure of the VTC itself, and the future role and direction of the VTC's Training Boards and General Committees. PAS(EM)5 is also engaged in dealing with the VTC's new five-year strategic plan, which covers a variety of areas other than those dealt with in the consultancy review report. Further into the future, PAS(EM)5 will give thought to the possible need for review of the VTC Ordinance. For these reasons we anticipate that PAS(EM)5 will remain heavily committed to the review and reorganisation of the VTC in the next few years.

6. Separately, at the time of creating the PAS(EM)5 post, we were in the process of finalising the consultation paper on age discrimination in employment. In the light of the outcome of the consultation exercise, we have decided to embark on a sustained, long-term public education and self-regulation programme. Furthermore, we have also agreed to review the effect of these public education measures early in 1998. PAS(EM)5 will be responsible for this task and for drawing up the programme and overseeing its implementation.

7. In addition, PAS(EM)5 is the Hong Kong focal point for liaison with the APEC Human Resource Development Working Group. He also represents Hong Kong on the Working Group. Issues discussed at the Working Group fall under the economic and technical co-operation side of APEC (as opposed to the trade liberalisation side). A recent switch in emphasis to economic and technical co-operation issues has led to a large increase in requests for input to reports, consideration of projects, and contributions in terms of other areas of work. Furthermore, the creation of an APEC Study Centre in Hong Kong requires increasing liaison with the six local tertiary institutions that have become its members. APEC is a major priority and is likely to remain so. We could not have foreseen this level of workload in early 1996 when we created the supernumerary post.

8. Another major area of new responsibility for PAS(EM)5 is to ensure that Hong Kong has a suitably and sufficiently trained workforce to meet the changing manpower demand of the local economy, particularly as a result of the massive housing construction programme over the next decade. EMB is now leading three high level working groups on the subject matter. One working group has just assessed the overall demand in Hong Kong for building and construction workers, with breakdown by trade types in the coming five years. Another working group - the quadrilateral Working Group on Training and Retraining for the Construction Industry comprising employer and employee representatives from the construction industry as well as the relevant training bodies and government bureaux/departments - is to ensure a sufficient supply of local workers to meet the expected growth in labour demand in the building and construction industry through training and retraining. A third working group is to tackle the shortage of labour in the clothing and textile industry. PAS(EM)5 provides secretariat support to all these working groups, co-ordinates the follow-up actions and maintains close liaison with the relevant trade associations, labour unions, training authorities, etc. As we intend to upgrade the quadrilateral Working Group into a Steering Committee to oversee the proposed Construction Labour Importation Scheme and the overall labour supply over the next decade, PAS(EM)5's role will become increasingly important.

9. In order to help promoting business and the service industry in Hong Kong, EMB is also working closely with the Business and Services Promotion Unit under the Financial Secretary's Office to undertake surveys and review on the ways and means of enhancing Hong Kong's competitiveness in these areas. The first of these studies, a comprehensive consultancy study on the tourism industry, is about to be commissioned and PAS(EM)5 is responsible for this task.

10. PAS(EM)5 is also responsible for dealing with requests by the Construction Industry Training Authority (CITA) for policy and legislative changes. We have to amend the CITA Ordinance from time-to-time to enable the Authority to expand its scope of functions to meet changing demands and increase its income through revision to the rate of levy. In addition to dealing with routine FDH matters, PAS(EM)5 has to deal with an unforeseen increase of United Nations reports covering "equality of treatment" for FDH. He also deals with requests for comments/input on other international conventions in respect of human rights and related issues. All these reports require in-depth analysis.

11. We have reviewed the schedules of the other PASs in EMB. With the growth in the overall workload of the Bureau, all the PASs are heavily committed in their respective areas of responsibility. Given the expanding magnitude of the policy work and related duties of PAS(EM)5 as described in the paragraphs above and their on-going nature, the workload of PAS(EM)5 cannot be absorbed by the other PASs. We propose to make the post of PAS(EM)5 permanent with effect from 1 April 1998 when the present supernumerary post lapses. The job description of the proposed permanent post of PAS(EM)5 is at Enclosure 3.


12. The additional notional annual salary cost at mid-point and the full annual average staff cost of the proposal, including salary and staff on-cost are -

Notional annual salary cost at Mid-Point

Full annual average staff cost

No. of posts

New permanent post




Subject to Members’ approval, we will include sufficient provision in the 1998-99 draft Estimates to meet the cost of this proposal.

13. We have created one Administrative Officer and one Personal Secretary I posts (with a total annual mid-point salary of $898,320) to support the proposed AOSGC post in undertaking the range of duties and responsibilities described above.


14. The Civil Service Bureau supports the proposed creation of a permanent post of AOSGC with effect from 1 April 1998. The ranking and grading of the proposed post is appropriate having regard to its duties and responsibilities.


15. The Standing Committee on Directorate Salaries and Conditions of Service has advised that the grading proposed for the posts would be appropriate if the post were to be created.

Education and Manpower Bureau
January 1998

1. One of the Deputy Secretaries and one of the Principal Assistant Secretaries are supernumerary posts created in October 1997 for six months under delegated authority. SEM is proposing, via EC(97-98)62 for the same meeting on 4 February 1998, to make these two posts permanent to cope with additional work relating to school education and the Quality Education Fund. Another supernumerary Principal Assistant Secretary post was created under delegated authority in December 1997 for six months to take up some urgent education-related issues.

Enclosure 2 to EC(97-98)63

Responsibilities of the Nine PAS(EM)s in EMB


Education Division

Responsible for policy work on public and
privately-funded post-secondary and tertiary education including the Hong Kong Institute of Education, the Open University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Council for Academic Accreditation; and student finance.



Responsible for all policy work related to primary and secondary education; overseeing and co-ordinating implementation of policies arising from Education Commission recommendations and Policy Address; developing a strategy for promoting use of information technology in teaching and learning in schools.


Education Commission Division

Responsible for all work related to the Education Commission (EC) and its major recommendations; coordinating EC's review of the academic system; overseeing the organisational review of the Education Department; and review of the existing structure of education-related executive and advisory bodies.



Responsible for labour matters, including compensation schemes, employees retraining, importation of labour, Labour Tribunal and the Registry of Trade Unions.



Responsible for work on human resource development and related issues, including vocational training, manpower planning, age discrimination, and the employment related aspects of foreign domestic helper policy, Asian Pacific Economic Co-operation, etc.


Teacher Education Division

Responsible for all work related to the Advisory Committee on Teacher Education and Qualification, policy work on pre-primary education, special education, Hong Kong Examination Authority; and overseeing the establishment of a General Teaching Council including the enactment of relevant legislation.



Responsible for occupational safety and health and related issues in both industrial and non-industrial sectors, including overseeing the operation of the Occupational Safety and Health Council.


Quality Education Fund Support Unit (PAS(EM)8)

Responsible for providing secretariat support to and managing the Quality Education Fund.


Special Duties (PAS(EM)9)

Responsible for formulating measures for implementing funding flexibility for schools; review of provision of Student Guidance Teachers to primary schools; formulating new procedures to speed up the School Improvement Programme; following up the recommendations of the Board of Education's review on special education; and following up on the review of the Kindergarten Subsidy Scheme.

Enclosure 3 to EC(97-98)63

Principal Assistant Secretary for Education and Manpower (5)
Administrative Officer Staff Grade C (D2)

Main Duties and Responsibilities

Responsible to the Deputy Secretary for Education and Manpower (1) for -

  1. policy relating to vocational training;

  2. age discrimination in employment;

  3. policy relating to the employment related aspects of foreign domestic helpers;

  4. formulating policy on public holidays;

  5. undertaking issues in relation to the Asian Pacific Economic Co-operation;

  6. policy relating to the employment related aspect of the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes; and

  7. policy relating to manpower planning.