March 31, 2017
Skilled-labour shortage forecast up to 15,000 workers in the next few years
The government will work with the Construction Industry Council (CIC) to explore measures to increase the supply of skilled workers to meet the manpower demand for capital works projects. Secretary for Development Eric Ma told legislators said on March 22 that the move is part of the government’s drive to cope with the construction industry's skilled-labour shortage, forecast by the council to be up to 15,000 workers in the next few years. Mr Ma said the government and the council have been developing progression pathways to attract new entrants to join the industry, and are boosting training for local construction workers. Since April 2014 the government has also expedited Supplementary Labour Scheme applications submitted by public works contractors to import skilled workers for 26 trades suffering manpower shortage, shortening the application processing time by 1.5 months. To help the industry better plan resource allocation, the government regularly publishes 10-year forecasts for overall construction output, Mr Ma added. "According to the latest forecast published at the end of last year, the total construction output of the public and private sectors in the next five to 10 years will exceed the level of $300 billion, indicating a persistent high demand for construction services."