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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Thousands of non-local workers could join the construction industry over manpower shortage: sources

Thousands of non-local workers could join the construction industry over manpower shortage: sources

The government is mulling allowing thousands of non-local construction workers to serve in the industry to deal with the manpower shortage, according to sources.
It was learned that authorities might draw reference from the special scheme to import care workers for residential care homes, to invite non-local workers to join the construction sector via a similar scheme to address the workforce issue.

Under the current Supplementary Labour Scheme, any application for imported non-local workers is required to be reviewed by the Labour Advisory Board. However, the special scheme would bypass the Board's vetting and approval, but reviewed by a dedicated task force instead.

The scheme could take effect in the second half of this year at its earliest, added the sources.

In a Legislative Council meeting today, Secretary for Labour and Welfare Chris Sun Yuk-han said the government was "actively considering" a special scheme to introduce non-local workers into industries with manpower shortages.

"The main thrust of the government's manpower policy is on nurturing local talents, complementing by attracting outside talents," Sun said. "On the premise of safeguarding the employment priority for local workers, allowing for the importation of labour, so as to alleviate the shortage of manpower in individual sectors/job categories.

When responding to the possibility of importing non-local construction workers, the Development Bureau said reference would be made to the latest manpower forecast report released by the Construction Industry Council in February this year in assessing how to enhance manpower supply of the construction industry.

That would include leveraging local manpower resources, enhancing training and bringing in non-local resources as necessary, as well as reducing manpower needs through productivity-uplifting measures.

The Bureau targets to present the assessment and a holistic strategy by the middle of the year.
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