CIC opens new service centre in Nam Cheong station
The value of work carried out by the construction industry is expected to hit HK$190 billion this year, putting further pressure on the current overworked labour force.
Speaking at the opening of the Construction Industry Council’s new service centre Thursday, Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung Kin-chung pointed out for public works alone, the expenditure for the current 2013/14 financial year was HK$70.1 billion.
This generated 74,000 jobs of which 66,000 jobs are on site while 8,600 jobs are professional and technical level.
This total figure exceeded the number of jobs generated in the 2012/13 year by 7,900.
If the workload from the private sector is included as well, the job prospects were very encouraging.
“For 2014 alone, we estimate the [value of work] of projects including public works will be worth HK$190 billion. This figure is an astronomical figure,” Cheung said.
With such figures, Cheung said, the message for young people was clear.
“If young people enter the industry, they will definitely have good expectations,” Cheung said.
As such he hoped the CIC’s latest initiative to attract more new workers would be successful.
Figures from the Census and Statistics Department show the total gross value of construction works in nominal terms for the first three quarters of 2013 was HK$127.4 billion, up 11.5 percent compared with the same period in 2012.
Assuming the value of work for the fourth quarter of 2013 can be maintained at about HK$40 billion, the total gross value for the year would top HK$167 billion.
In 2012, the total gross value of work for the year was HK$161.5 billion.
By way of further comparison, during the industry’s last peak period in 1998 when the Airport Core Programme was still in progress, the figure was a mere HK$133 billion.
Speaking also at the opening of the centre, CIC chairman Lee Shing-see said the purpose of its latest initiative was to provide a convenient service centre for the industry’s more than 300,000 registered construction workers as well as raising the profile of the industry and attract more young people to join the industry.
The centre is located in Nam Cheong MTR station and will operate seven days a week, from 12 noon to 8 pm.
Nam Cheong was chosen for the CIC’s first such centre as it was a convenient location in the urban area.
Apart from handling matters related to the Construction Workers Registration Card, visitors can also submit applications for training courses, trade testing and construction-related registration services.
Asked whether more centres would be opened, Lee said that a review of results would be done after a few months.
“If it is good, we will add more,” Lee said.
As to the workforce implications arising from the government’s recent policy address, Lee said the CIC was still preferring to train up local workers as far as possible and to only consider whether to import labour if and when the progress of projects was seriously affected.