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Hong Kong government announces plans to deal with shrinking workforce

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Facing a shrinking labour force, Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Matthew Cheung Kin Chung is keen to bank on the potential of the physically challenged, although he acknowledged that it will not be an easy thing to do.

In his blog posted last Saturday, Cheung  stressed that in order to tackle the problem of a shrinking workforce there is a need to encourage housewives, ethnic minorities, early retiree and the physically challenged to enter the labour market.

On incentives to encourage hiring of the physically challenged  the social welfare department will provide subsidies of up to 3 million dollars for social enterprises with more than half of their workforce being physically challenged.

The Emploee Retraining Board (ERB) has introduced the  Modular Certificates Accumulation Scheme to encourage housewives who are not able to take full-time courses to gain qualifications through flexibility study arrangement as they prepare themselves to look for a job.

Cheung added that the government has invested 15 billion dollars into ERB in February to ensure adequate labour supply in the future.

According to Census and Statistics department, the city’s work force will hit its peak at 3.65 million in 2018, then begin to deteriorate.  After falling to 3.43 million in 2031, it will remain steady until 2038 before going further down to 3.11 million by 2064.

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