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LCQ3: Human resources plans needed for realising "eight centres" positioning
     Following is a question by the Hon Stanley Ng and a reply by the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Chris Sun, in the Legislative Council today (November 9):


     The 2022 Policy Address has pointed out that national strategies, such as the 14th Five-Year Plan and the "Belt and Road" Initiative, have injected continuous impetus to the growth of Hong Kong. There are views that in order to realise Hong Kong's "eight centres" positioning as set out in the 14th Five-Year Plan, relevant human resources plans are a crucial complementary part. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council, in respect of the plans for the industries set out in the aforesaid policy blueprint, whether the Government has formulated corresponding medium and long-term human resources plans, so as to allow more talents to have the opportunities to participate in the development of the "eight centres" and seize the development opportunities, and at the same time inject a driving force of talents to the "eight centres"; if it has, of the number and types of talents needed, as well as the measures in place to achieve the targets set out in such human resources plans?



     As announced in "The Chief Executive's 2022 Policy Address", the Government will establish the Steering Group on Integration into National Development to be chaired by the Chief Executive, with three Secretaries of Departments as deputies, pressing ahead with initiatives across bureaux and providing steer from a strategic and macro perspective. The work of the Steering Group will cover four major areas, including formulating strategic plans for Hong Kong to dovetail with the 14th Five‑Year Plan, and proactively forging ahead with development and collaboration. The 14th Five-Year Plan has supported the development of Hong Kong in eight key areas ("eight centres"), including the international financial centre, international innovation and technology centre, East-meets-West centre for international cultural exchange, international trade centre, international shipping centre, international aviation hub, centre for international legal and dispute resolution services in the Asia‑Pacific region as well as regional intellectual property trading centre. The Government attaches great importance to dovetailing with national strategies and enhancing the impetus for the growth of Hong Kong. Abundant and diverse human resources is the most important impetus to drive development.

     The Government has been compiling Manpower Projection on a regular basis to assess the broad trends of future manpower supply and requirements in different local key economic sectors at the macro level. The last round of Manpower Projection was completed in 2019, projecting an overall manpower shortfall of about 170 000 crossing all different education levels in 2027. This round of projection however could not capture some major changes over the past few years, including the impact of the epidemic. The Government therefore plans to commence a new round of Manpower Projection in mid-2023 to keep abreast of the latest situation of local manpower requirements.

     The Policy Address has announced to enhance the methodology for the new round of Manpower Projection. Specifically, we will adopt a four-pronged approach:

(1) We will adopt the "eight centres" under the 14th Five-Year Plan as the analytical framework to study the manpower and skills requirements of relevant key industries. To achieve this, apart from the conventional analyses and projections based on statistical models over the economic, labour force and employment statistics compiled by the Census and Statistics Department, we will also explore big data analytics on job vacancies collected over a period of time to better understand the manpower supply and demand for different types of trades;

(2) We will strengthen the collection and analysis of qualitative information and data under the new round of projection. We plan to conduct more extensive and in-depth sectoral consultation to cover key industries under the "eight centres". The Labour and Welfare Bureau will collaborate with relevant policy bureaux and departments in widely consulting participants and stakeholders of the key industries, such as business associations, public organisations and key enterprises, to collect information on the current and future requirements complementing the development of the "eight centres" and the related industries, professions and required skills, and to gauge their views on business outlook for the future. We will also integrate relevant industry and occupation data and information collected from the market, with a view to analysing the situations of manpower and skills shortages in key industries;

(3) The new round of projection will also cover the technical trades pertinent to the essential services supporting the city's daily operation and management which require time in training, such as technicians for maintaining various major facilities and mechanical and engineering work, etc. We will integrate data and information, conduct sectoral consultation and analyse the supply and demand of these technical trades; and

(4) The projection period will be shortened from 10 years to five years. With a more frequent updating cycle, the projection can reflect the trends in our economy and labour markets in a more timely manner.

     We anticipate that key findings of the new round of Manpower Projection will be available in the third quarter of 2024, and a detailed report will be promulgated in early 2025. Projection findings can help the Government and various stakeholders, including businesses and training institutions, to get hold of the situation of manpower and skills shortages in key industries and trades in Hong Kong, so as to formulate more precise strategies on the short-term and medium-to-long-term manpower development training and employment of their responsible industries.
Ends/Wednesday, November 9, 2022
Issued at HKT 12:00
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