With developers, consultants and contractors all scrambling to increase their headcounts to cope with the increased workload from the public and private sectors, government works departments are also looking add new staff.
Hidden away in the estimates for the government’s budget for the current financial year 2013-14 are the fine details of new staffing proposals.
According to the heads of expenditure for the works departments, the government plans to create new posts totalling 141 in number.
The departments are Architectural Services Department, Civil Engineering and Development Department, Drainage Services Department, Highways Department, Buildings Department and Water Services Department.
“We do not envisage major problem in filling the posts,” a Development Bureau spokeswoman said in reply to a question from Construction Post on whether it could fill the posts given the current high demand for qualified staff.
As all of the new posts for the departments are not directorate rank, their creation does not need to be submitted to the Establishment Committee of the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council, the spokeswoman added.
Developers such as Henderson Land (0012), railway operator MTR Corporation (0066), the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority and consultants such as AECOM, Arup and Mott MacDonald have all been placing job advertisements for staff in recent months.
Buildings Department in particular accounted for the lion’s share of the new jobs with 87 posts.
Coming second is CEDD with 14 posts with Highways coming third with 13 posts.
Related departments such as Lands Department and Planning Department will also add 26 and 15 new posts respectively.
In a reply last month to a question by legislator Ng Leung-sing, Director of Buildings Au Choi-kai said the 87 new posts would comprise 21 professional posts such as senior building surveyors and senior structural engineer, nine technical posts and 57 clerical posts.
Au said 67 posts would be deployed on strengthening departmental and supporting services as well as enhancing the department’s building safety and maintenance enforcement programme.
“The other 20 post for professional and technical staff will be assigned to strengthen services in the approval of building plans and related applications for private development projects,” Au said.
A spokesman for Highways Department said its 13 new posts would be non-directorate posts and intended to strengthen the department’s district maintenance and capital works projects such as the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge.
“The estimated annual emolument for a full year provision for these new posts is around HK$8 million,” the spokesman said.
A spokeswoman for Planning Department said its new posts were intended for implementing measures to increase supply of housing and office land in Hong Kong and provide additional workforce for planning enforcement against unauthorised developments under the Town Planning Ordinance.
It expects to fork out an additional HK$7.3 million in salaries for these new posts.