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BPA welcomes the policy strategies proposed by the Steering Committee on Population Policy, which will enhance the quality of the labour force and provide necessary manpower resources for the long term economic development of Hong Kong.
BPA agrees that the potential working class should be unleashed by drawing our young people, female homemakers, social security recipients and immigrants into the labour market after providing them with proper training and support services. BPA suggests that social security recipients shall be covered by social security during retraining. By encouraging them to complete the training and attain the 3rd stage of qualification framework, it will not only help them become self-reliant, but also increase labour force. BPA also proposes number of teaching hours of retraining be increased. In order to facilitate employment transition and economic development, scope of retraining shall also cover business sectors with manpower shortage.
The report gave a clear account of meeting the additional labour demand flexibly at times of scarcity by importing labour. The number of private sector vacancies received is already about 78 thousand, especially the construction industry, retail and catering industries, and care service sector. Rising labour cost alongside the pressure of soaring production costs will weaken Hong Kong’s competitiveness. With the aim to address the problems of rising manpower demand and skills mismatch, BPA agrees that the government shall optimise the importation of labour system without jeopardising the interests of local workers.
BPA devotes in promoting upward mobility of the young generation. While the conventional subjects remain the mainstream of academic pursuits, the career prospects of young people not performing well in conventional subjects may be exacerbated by lack of experience. BPA aligns with the consultation document on upholding the value of vocational education. The direction will widen our economic base and enhance career prospects for our young people. However, the development of vocational institutions is hindered by the ageing infrastructure. The government should improve the learning environment and infrastructures of the institutions. They should also engage with the business sector to enhance the standard and applicability of programmes.
As regards enhancing the quality of the labour force, the Government should step up measures in connecting with global talents and Hong Kong people living or studying outside Hong Kong.