Legislative Council Manpower Panel Meeting
MANPOWER NEEDS OF INFRASTRUCTURAL PROJECTS
Over the next five years, a large number of infrastructural development projects will come on stream. These projects include railway development, road construction and reconstruction, building flyovers, port works, sewerage and sewage treatment, flood protection projects, water treatment and pumping stations projects, building of schools, hospitals and clinics, police stations, fire stations, various public amenities as well as a sizeable public works related maintenance works programme. Most of these projects are labour intensive and will thus bring about a large number of job opportunities. A breakdown of these projects by broad categories and their manpower needs are at Annex. It is estimated that the total number of manual site workers required for infrastructural development projects will be as follows :
Boosting Manpower Supply
Number of site workers required
|Year-on-year absolute change or percentage change
||(+16 200 or+39%)
||(+16 500 or +29%)
||(+2 500 or+3.4%)
2.To ensure an adequate manpower supply to achieve the massive infrastructural development, the Government, together with the industry, employees organisations and training bodies, is stepping up training and retraining of local construction workers. In 1998/99, the Construction Industry Training Authority (CITA) has expanded its training capacity by 30% over the level in the previous year. The Vocational Training Council (VTC) has also expanded its training capacity at the technician level. Given the labour requirements in some special trades where on-the-job training with heavy machinery input and specialist skills are required, CITA and the contractors concerned launched the 'Special Trades Cooperative Training Scheme' in late May this year. The scheme aims to provide training for "new blood" in special trades which are new to our industry but fundamental in infrastructural development projects (in particular civil engineering works). Examples include Tunnel Boring Machine Operation and Dredging Operation. A training allowance is made available to the retrainees under the scheme.
3.In addition to stepping up training and retraining, trades tests in construction disciplines, electrical and mechanical trades as well as various certification tests for construction plant operators are offered to construction workers. Provision of trade tests and certification test is an important step to ensuring successful placement of new entrants and retention of serving workers in the industry. Local workers can certify their skills with the objective standard of skill level established in the tests. In the long term, the objective standard of skill level facilitates continuing improvement in works quality and safety.
Semi-skilled workers ("Chung Gung")
4.Since the introduction of intermediate trade tests for semi-skilled construction workers in the first quarter of 1998, and up to 10 July 1998, some 5 300 persons have applied for the tests and about 3 940 persons have taken the tests. 3 470 persons have successfully passed the tests, and of these, 1815 passed the tests of construction disciplines and 1 655 in the electrical and mechanical trades respectively. Refresher courses will be provided to those who failed for the first time but wish to make their second attempt. It is noteworthy that those who have successfully passed the tests so far include in-service workers, full-time trainees in CITA and VTC as well as those who intend to re-enter the industry.
5.CITA and VTC, in conjunction with the Labour Department and with Hong Kong Construction Association, and Hong Kong Electrical and Mechanical Contractors' Association provide assistance for those successfully tested workers who need job placement service. Normally, it takes several weeks for a job-seeker to be placed. Of the 3 470 persons who have been successfully tested so far, 1 970 persons passed the test on or before 5 June 1998. Among these, only some 170 persons needed placement service and this has been arranged by the Labour Department. They are awaiting the results of job interviews.
Quadrilateral Working Group
6.The Quadrilateral Working Group on Training and Retraining for the Construction Industry, led by the Education and Manpower Bureau and comprising representatives of all the relevant training institutions and Government Bureaux/departments as well as trade associations and labour unions will continue to closely monitor the manpower situation. The Working Group will meet in mid-August to take stock of the position. The Construction Advisory Board will also closely monitor the situation.
Education and Manpower Bureau
27 July 1998
Manpower needs of infrastructural projects from 1998-2002
|Category of works||1998-99||1999-2000||2000-01||2001-02
|Public works projects* +
|Private sector port development projects
Note: Figures rounded up to the nearest hundreds of construction site
* Public works projects include road construction and reconstruction, building flyovers, port works, sewerage and sewage treatment, flood protection projects, water treatment and pumping stations projects, building of schools, hospitals and clinics, police stations, fire stations, various public amenities as well as a sizeable public works related maintenance works programme.
+ The labour requirements for public works related maintenance works programme are estimated at 9 170 workers in 1998-99,
9 950 workers in 1999-2000, 10 740 workers in 2000-01, 11 220 workers in 2001-02