China\HK Macao Taiwan

Hong Kong to step up efforts to tackle manpower shortage problem

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-10-27 06:20

HONG KONG — A string of measures will be taken to deal with the manpower shortage problem in China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), a top official of the HKSAR government said here Thursday.

Speaking at a manpower conference on Thursday, Chief Secretary for Administration Cheung Kin-chung said that according to the latest projections, Hong Kong's labor force will reach 3.67 million in 2019, and then decrease to 3.51 million in 2031, and further down to 3.13 million in 2066.

"While we are facing a shrinking workforce, breakthroughs in innovation and technology development have brought about paradigm shifts in different economic and social spheres, changing our daily lives, business modalities and accordingly the labor market," Cheung said, adding that there is urgency for the HKSAR government to look for measures and nurture a pool of talent for Hong Kong's long-term development.

Hong Kong needs to make early preparation by improving education curriculum, promoting lifelong learning to prepare the shrinking workforce, he said.

"We will set up a Commission for the Planning of Human Resources to consolidate the resources and efforts of the HKSAR government and various sectors," Cheung said, adding that nurturing local talent is the priority task of the HKSAR government.

With regard to the possibility of increasing imported labor, the chief secretary said that, on the premise that local workers' priority for employment will be safeguarded, the government will also explore with stakeholders the possibility of increasing imported labor on an appropriate and limited scale.

In addition, to protect the interests and well-being of women and unleash their working potential, the government will make efforts to strengthen the support for families on various fronts, including community and home care support services for the elderly, persons with disabilities and children.

Through these measures and the support of the relevant sectors, Cheung said these innovative new endeavours will help unleash the potential workforce and provide suitable talent for the long-term development of a high value-added and diversified economy in Hong Kong.

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