2015 Policy Address, Uphold the Rule of Law, Seize the Opportunities, Make the Right Choices, Pursue Democracy, Boost the Economy, Improve People's Livelihood
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Policy Address

Public Participation in Long-term Planning

101.     The Development Bureau and the Planning Department are updating the "Hong Kong 2030: Planning Vision and Strategy" published in 2007 to examine the strategies and feasible options for overall spatial planning and land and infrastructure developments for Hong Kong beyond 2030, in the light of our latest needs.

102.     The current-term Government is committed to putting an end to the long-standing shortage of land supply.  The Government plans to hold multi-party discussion with all sectors of the community, such as professional bodies, environmental groups, local communities and young students, in order to jointly examine the issues concerned, balance competing considerations, break through the bottlenecks and solve the problems.

Construction Industry

103.     The Government has been working with the Construction Industry Council (CIC) and members of the sector to promote the healthy development of the construction industry.  Following amendment of the Construction Workers Registration Ordinance in 2014, the requirements of "designated workers for designated trades" will be implemented under the construction workers registration scheme in 2017.  Skilled construction workers will then be required to register according to their respective skills.  This will help further raise the quality of construction works as well as the professional image of construction workers, and attract more people to join the industry.  All along, the CIC has mainly provided training for workers to bring them to semi-skilled level.  In this regard, the Government will provide $100 million for the CIC to strengthen their work to train skilled workers for the industry.  We will make continuous efforts to enhance the professional development of construction workers and provide them with more progression pathways.

104.     The construction industry is facing the problem of a severe shortage and ageing of skilled workers.  Although the Government and CIC have made strenuous efforts in recent years to train local skilled workers and enhance the industry's professional image, and have attracted many new entrants to the industry, the keen demand has yet to be met.  If the shortage of skilled workers cannot be properly dealt with, it will seriously affect the implementation of public housing, hospital, school and public transportation projects, and will also indirectly lead to the escalation of construction costs.  To this end, the Government, the construction industry and the community must work together in a pragmatic manner and stay united to embrace the challenges ahead.  We must take the most appropriate measures to tackle the problem of acute manpower shortage comprehensively and effectively.  On the overriding premise of giving priority to the employment of local skilled workers, safeguarding their income levels as well as promoting training to the construction workforce in a continuous manner, the construction industry needs to import skilled workers in a timely and effective manner to meet the demand.

105.     The Government rolled out measures to enhance the Supplementary Labour Scheme last April specifically for the construction industry in relation to public sector works projects.  Nonetheless, the relevant measures have yet to fully address the keen demand of the industry for skilled workers.  We need to launch further enhancement measures having regard to the unique characteristics of the construction industry.  For example, since construction works are carried out in sequential order and may be affected by factors such as supply of materials, progress of upstream work processes and so on, allowing imported skilled workers to work across various public sector works projects can enhance the flexibility of deployment, maximise the productivity of skilled workers and control costs more effectively.  The Government will liaise closely with the construction industry and the labour sector on the detailed arrangements of the relevant measures and review their effectiveness in a timely manner.  If these measures still cannot effectively resolve the acute shortage problem of skilled workers, we will explore with the construction industry and labour sector the introduction of other more effective and appropriate measures to reduce the adverse effects on Hong Kong's economic and social development.  To give priority to local workers in employment, the Government will set up a dedicated Construction Industry Recruitment Centre.  The centre will provide career counselling services, conduct on-the-spot job interviews and organise job fairs for local construction workers, and assist contractors in according priority to employing qualified local skilled workers.



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