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SDEV visits Construction Industry Employees General Union (with photos)

     The Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, today (February 28) visited the Hong Kong Construction Industry Employees General Union (HKCIEGU) to meet the leaders of various workers' unions in the construction industry and update them on infrastructure developments in Hong Kong.

     Mrs Lam told the union leaders that the Government was committed to promoting economic growth through infrastructure developments during this term of office, noting that capital works expenditure rose substantially from $20.5 billion in 2007-08 to $49.6 billion in 2010-11, and would reach a record high of over $58 billion in 2011-12.

     "The Financial Secretary announced in his 2011-12 Budget that with some of the ten major infrastructure projects and other projects entering their construction peaks, capital works expenditure for each of the next few years is estimated to exceed $60 billion," Mrs Lam said.

     Growing investment in various infrastructure projects has also brought substantial improvement to construction industry employment in the past few years.

     "The unemployment rate of construction workers has dropped successively from a peak of 12.8% in early 2009 following the financial tsunami to 4.5% recently.  This is clearly remarkable," Mrs Lam said.

     She noted that with the implementation of Operation Building Bright (OBB) to provide financial assistance for building owners to repair their buildings, the unemployment rate in the decoration, repairs and maintenance sector has also decreased, from a peak of 21.7% to a recent 4.7%.  The Financial Secretary announced an additional allocation of $1 billion in his 2011-12 Budget Speech to conclude this one-off job-creation initiative. By the time OBB is completed, it is estimated that some 3,000 buildings over 30 years of age will have been covered.

     "This should help to sustain good employment for our decoration and maintenance workers in the coming years," said Mrs Lam.

     Mrs Lam thanked the HKCIEGU for its efforts in promoting the well-being of construction workers.  She also took the opportunity to invite the HKCIEGU to remind its members to pay particular attention to site safety.  

     She also briefed the unions on various measures undertaken by Development Bureau and the Construction Industry Council to enhance training and raise the image of construction workers, with a view to attracting and retaining more workers in the sector.

     "We will continue to work with the industry and stakeholders to train more skilled staff and attract more people, especially young people, to join the construction industry," Mrs Lam said.

Ends/Monday, February 28, 2011
Issued at HKT 21:15


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