Hong Kong's adaptable workforce is its most treasured asset and the
Government makes sure it is sufficiently dynamic, motivated and skilful to contribute
to Hong Kong's economic competitiveness. There are, however, challenges which
have to be addressed apart from continual job creation, including unemployment
caused by economic restructuring, globalisation, greater use of information
technology and corporate downsizing. The Government adopts a multi-pronged
strategy to meet these challenges. It involves upgrading the workforce, improving the
business environment and increasing employment opportunities to meet the dictates
of a knowledge-based economy.
The Employees Retraining Board (ERB) provided about 100 000 places in 2006 to
retrain workers, especially those who were made redundant or were unemployed, to
re-enter the labour market. The Government also continued to offer special help to
those who were less competitive. The Labour Department has introduced a package
of market-oriented employment initiatives such as the Employment Programme for
the Middle-Aged, the Work Trial Scheme, the Special Incentive Allowance Scheme for
Local Domestic Helpers, the Youth Pre-employment Training Programme, the Youth
Work Experience and Training Scheme and the Work Orientation and Placement
Scheme for disabled job-seekers. In addition, job fairs are held and job-matching
services are provided to help the needy to enter or re-enter the job market.
Over the past few years, the Government has created a number of temporary
jobs in the public sector to help the unemployed enter or re-enter the labour market
and meet operational needs. Some 11 600 temporary jobs were retained in 2006.
Many of those jobs suited workers whose level of education and skills were low and
who lacked work experience.
The Government is committed to promoting good employer-employee relations,
protecting the rights and enhancing the benefits of employees in line with Hong
Kong's socio-economic development, and protecting the safety and health of
employees at work.