For discussion
on 25 March 1998


Subhead 001 Salaries

Members are invited to recommend to Finance Committee the retention of the following supernumerary post in the Labour Department for the period up to 31 December 1998 in order to enable the continued secondment of a suitable officer to the Employees Retraining Board -

l Assistant Commissioner for Labour
(D2)($110,000 - 116,800)


The Employees Retraining Board (ERB) needs the continued secondment of an Assistant Commissioner for Labour (AC for L) to fill the post of the Executive Director, so as to facilitate the smooth implementation of the Employees Retraining Scheme (ERS), pending the recruitment of the new Executive Director. The supernumerary post, which makes the existing secondment arrangement possible, will lapse on 30 June 1998.


2. We propose to retain the supernumerary post of AC for L for another six months up to 31 December 1998 to continue the existing arrangements
for seconding a suitable officer from the Labour Department (LD) to the ERB as its Executive Director.


3. The Employees Retraining Ordinance was enacted in October 1992 to provide for the establishment of the ERB. The ERB provides retraining courses through the ERS to help the local workforce acquire new skills and adjust to changes in the employment market.

4. Under Section 3 of the Employees Retraining Ordinance, the ERB comprises a Chairman and a Vice-Chairman who are non-Government officials, as well as representatives of employers, employees, Government departments and training bodies. The office of the Board, which provides executive support and implements the Board decisions, is headed by an Executive Director.

5. We created in 1993 a supernumerary AC for L post in the LD to accommodate an AC for L on secondment to the office of the Board as Executive Director. We have since retained the post thrice, the last time in November 1997 for the period up to 30 June 1998.

6. The ERB agreed at its meeting on 29 July 1997 to fill the post of Executive Director through open recruitment and the process was set in train thereafter. As the recruitment exercise has taken longer than expected to the extent that a new Executive Director might not be appointed before the end of June 1998, we consider it necessary to extend the secondment by six months up to 31 December 1998 to avoid any disruption to the work of the Board. The proposed extension will provide for a reasonable period of handover between the two Executive Directors. It will also enable the incumbent Executive Director to continue to provide the various services of the ERB and to implement the recommendations of the comprehensive review of the ERS, given his experience in employment and labour matters and close connections with employers and employees associations and training bodies. This is particularly important, in view of the ERB pioneering role in the development and implementation of tailor-made retraining courses for the unemployed during the coming months, as part of the package of measures to tackle unemployment.

7. The main duties of the Executive Director of the ERB and the organisation chart of the office of the Board are at Enclosures 1 and 2 respectively.


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


Salary Cost
at Mid-point

Full Annual

No. of Post

AC for L




9. We will recover the full cost, including staff on-cost, of the proposal from the ERB.


10. The Civil Service Bureau supports the proposed retention of the supernumerary post.


11. As we propose to keep the AC for L post on a supernumerary basis, we will report the retention of it, if approved, to the Standing Committee on Directorate Salaries and Conditions of Service in accordance with the agreed procedure.


12. We have placed this item on the agenda for 25 March 1998 which is the last available Establishment Subcommittee meeting before the supernumerary post in question lapses on 30 June 1998. This is to ensure that, if the proposal is endorsed by Members, we can extend the post for another six months up to
31 December 1998 to continue with the present secondment arrangement while open recruitment of the Executive Director for the ERB is underway. We apologise for the inconvenience caused to Members by the late issue of the paper.

Education and Manpower Bureau
March 1998

Enclosure 1 to EC(97-98)88

Job Description of the Executive Director
of the Office of the Employees Retraining Board
(Assistant Commissioner for Labour)

Main Duties and Responsibilities -

  1. To assist the Employees Retraining Board to develop and administer the Employees Retraining Scheme and to discharge the statutory functions of the Board.

  2. To develop and expand the network of training bodies and training centres to meet the strong demand for retraining among local employees aged 30 and over.

  3. To develop new courses and retraining programmes to meet market demands.

  4. To activate community resources in the provision of retraining and employment opportunities for retrainees.

  5. To secure the support of employers’ associations and trade unions in identifying market opportunities and market needs, in the design of the retraining programmes, and in monitoring the outcome of retraining.

  6. To develop a quality assurance system for the retraining programme.

  7. To ensure cost effectiveness of facilitating healthy market competition among training providers.

  8. To secure public support for the retraining programme through pro-active publicity and public relations programmes.

  9. To manage the office of the Employees Retraining Board.

  10. To implement the recommendations of the review of the Employees Retraining Scheme.