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LCQ4: Manpower projection

     Following is a question by Hon Wong Kwok-kin and a reply by the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung kin-chung, in the Legislative Council today (June 19):


     Last year, the authorities published the Report on Manpower Projection to 2018, which projected a shortfall of 22 000 workers in 2018 at the broad education level covering upper secondary, craft, technician and sub-degree.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) how often the authorities review the manpower resources development strategy; whether they had ever published the details of the relevant reviews in the past; if they had, of the publication dates and the details involved; whether the past reviews had projected the aforesaid manpower supply shortfall; if so, of the measures formulated by the authorities to address the shortfall; if not, the reasons for that;

(b) of the process adopted by the authorities for formulating the manpower development strategy; of the cooperative relationships and division of work among the Manpower Development Committee and the relevant manpower resources training agencies such as the Vocational Training Council, Employees Retraining Board and organisations which implement the Qualifications Framework, etc; and

(c) whether it will set up a high-level committee on manpower resources development strategy straddling various policy areas to coordinate the policy areas involved in manpower resources development strategy, such as economic development, people's livelihood and cultural industries, etc?



     My reply to the three parts of the question raised by the Hon Wong Kwok-kin is as follows:

(a) Starting from 1989, the Administration has been conducting the Manpower Projection (MP) from time to time to assess at the macro level Hong Kong's future manpower supply and demand in the medium term, and to assess whether there is any potential imbalance between the demand and supply of manpower across different education levels. The Administration has so far published six rounds of findings of the MP in May 1990, March 1992, July 1994, November 2000, July 2003 and April 2012 respectively.  The base year and projection period of each of these MP exercises are given in the Annex to this reply.

     The findings of the first five rounds of MP reveal no shortfall in the overall manpower supply.  However, the MP to 2018, published in April 2012, projects a slight shortfall in the overall manpower supply in Hong Kong by 2018.  It is estimated that there will be a projected shortfall of about 22 000 workers at the upper secondary, craft, technician and sub-degree education level, while there will be a small manpower surplus of about 8 500 workers at the lower secondary level and below.  To help relieve the projected manpower shortage at the upper secondary, craft, technician and sub-degree education level, the Administration will enhance the competitiveness and employability of those with education attainment at the lower secondary level or below mainly through training services.

     The Administration is conducting a new round of MP with 2012 as the base year for projecting the manpower supply and requirement situation up to 2022.  We plan to release the projection findings by the first quarter of 2014.  

(b) The MP is undertaken by Government professional statisticians with reference to a host of relevant statistics and data, including those collected from surveys on commercial organisations. We also conduct extensive consultation with the business community, trade associations and academia on future manpower requirements in various sectors.  From time to time, we report to, and seek advice from, the Manpower Development Committee on matters relating to the projection framework, progress and findings of the MP exercise. Chaired by the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, the Manpower Development Committee comprises Chairman of the Employees Retraining Board, Chairman of the Vocational Training Council, Chairman of the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications, representatives of the Labour and Welfare Bureau and the Education Bureau, the Government Economist, Secretary-General of the University Grants Committee as well as independent members from various sectors.

     Government bureaux and departments as well as other stakeholders make reference to the findings of MP in conducting manpower studies for various sectors and making necessary planning.  Depending on their needs and circumstances, bureaux and departments may set up committees or task forces to consult the sectors, such as the Steering Committee on Strategic Review on Healthcare Manpower Planning and Professional Development and the Task Force on Manpower Development of the Retail Industry.  In designing its courses and planning for its services, the Vocational Training Council conducts manpower surveys for 24 industries and makes projections about their manpower requirements.

(c) The Steering Committee on Population Policy (the Steering Committee), chaired by the Chief Secretary for Administration, is a high-level committee spanning various policy areas.  Members of the Steering Committee come from different sectors of the community and the relevant bureaux and departments.  The Steering Committee will study a range of population issues, including how to "improve manpower balance and skills matching so that our workforce can, in terms of its quantity and skills level, support the economic development of Hong Kong".

Ends/Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Issued at HKT 15:46


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