Hong Kong 2006
Chapter 6:
Labour Market Situation
Labour Administration and Services
Employment Services
Preparing People for Work
Labour Relations
Employees' Rights
and Benefits
Imported Workers
Occupational Safety
and Health
Occupational Safety
and Health Council
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Safeguarding workers' rights and benefits, ensuring safe and healthy conditions in the workplace and fostering harmonious employer-employee relations continue to be the Government's priorities. The Administration brooks no compromise on these matters despite improvements in the job market. The year also saw the adoption of more new measures to better help the less-educated secure work.

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.

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