Pedestrians walk on a street in the Wan Chai district of Hong Kong on August 6, 2021. (ISAAC LAWRENCE / AFP)
HONG KONG - With the city’s local workforce expected to shrink due to its ageing population, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government is boosting its retraining program and could explore the possibility of increasing labor importation for sectors with severe manpower shortages, Secretary for Labor and Welfare Chris Sun Yuk-han said Wednesday.
Answering a query at the Legislative Council, Sun said the government will continue to promote training and retraining, provide appropriate employment services, and optimize child care services to unleash the potential local workforce.
Secretary for Labor and Welfare Chris Sun Yuk-han said the government will continue to promote training and retraining, provide appropriate employment services, and optimize child care services to unleash the potential local workforce
“In the face of ageing population and declining birth rate, the local workforce is expected to shrink. To ensure the sustainable development of Hong Kong's economy, we need to face up to the challenges of local manpower shortage, Sun said.
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He said the government will increase the subsidy ceiling of the Continuing Education Fund to HK$25,000 ($3,186) per person and remove the upper age limit for CEF applicants.
To enhance the employability of local workers, the Employees Retraining Board also offers over 700 regular courses, covering 28 industries and various generic skills, Sun said.
"The government will continue to closely monitor the manpower supply and demand of different sectors, and to put forth relevant measures for targeted sectors facing severe labour shortage, including exploring the possibility of increasing imported labour on an appropriate and regulated basis. The stakeholders will be consulted timely,” he added.
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