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With the advent of the knowledge
economy, Hong Kong is going through
economic restructuring. While the
transformation holds promises of new
opportunities, it also poses challenges for
the workforce. Employees have to
continually upgrade their skills to remain
competitive in the labour market. The
Government is leaving no stone unturned
to facilitate employment through
enhanced employment service as well as
training and retraining.



Manpower is Hong Kong's most treasured asset. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government aims to ensure that there is a dynamic, well-motivated, adaptable and skilful workforce contributing to Hong Kong's economic competitiveness.

Hong Kong is going through a challenging period of economic transformation and employment shift. The new Economic and Employment Council, chaired by the Financial Secretary, comprises 33 non-official members drawn from the Legislative Council, the business, labour and academic sectors as well as directors of relevant bureaux. The Council meets regularly to advise the Government on the development and implementation of policies and initiatives to promote economic activities, encourage inward investment, facilitate business, and create employment opportunities.

Since 2000, the Government has created a number of temporary jobs in the public sector to help the unemployed enter/re-enter the labour market and meet operational needs. In 2004, some 11 700 temporary jobs were extended. Many of these jobs were suitable for workers with less education, low skills and limited work experience.

Meanwhile, the Government has continued to offer extra help to enhance the employability of the more vulnerable groups in the community. To this end, the Labour Department has introduced a package of market-oriented employment initiatives such as the Youth Pre-employment Training Programme, the Youth Work Experience and Training Scheme, the Youth Self-employment Support Scheme, the Re-employment Training Programme for the Middle-Aged and the Special Incentive Allowance Scheme for Local Domestic Helpers. Job fairs are staged and enhanced job matching services are provided to assist those in need to enter/re-enter the labour market.

During the year, the Employees Retraining Board offered over 118 000 training places to assist eligible workers, especially those who were displaced or unemployed, to re-enter the labour market.

At the same time, the Government recognises the need to promote good employer-employee relations, enhance the rights and benefits of employees in a way commensurate with Hong Kong's socio-economic development, and protect the safety and health of employees at work.