SUBSCRIBE: Newsletter

Human Resources



Hong Kong needs imported labour to overcome manpower shortage

Human Resources magazine and the HR Bulletin daily email newsletter:
Asia's only regional HR print and digital media brand.
Register for your FREE subscription now »


With Hong Kong’s ongoing low unemployment rate there are urgent calls to boost imported labour to meet job shortfalls.

The Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Law Chi-kwong, has confirmed the government is seriously considering the issue of imported labour in the sectors with the most severe manpower shortages.

The government has a number of factors to consider, including the additional housing demand of imported workers, while simultaneously protecting the income of local workers, Law was reported as saying in The Standard.

The government’s report, “Manpower Projection to 2027”, released in May, revealed the greatest labour shortfall is estimated to be secondary school or those with even lower education levels – with an estimated manpower shortage of 76,500 of this cohort.

Law added a “multi-pronged” approach was necessary to deal with the short, medium and long-term social issues of Hong Kong’s manpower shortage.

One measure he believes will be effective is to make childcare services better and more affordable – releasing more local women into the workforce.

“At present, the shortage of childcare services is an indisputable fact,” he said.

“Releasing women into the workforce aside, we should continue to improve childcare services in order to allow women to have equal opportunities in the development of their personal careers. Caregivers can have a real choice between developing a career or doing housework.”

Another area that could benefit from imported labour is the aged care sector, where Hong Kong expects to see a massive manpower shortfall in years to come, with a knock-on effect on the economy.

Read more about it here: Cost of elderly care to take toll on Hong Kong economy

HR Masterclass from Human Resources magazine: High-level HR strategy training workshops
led by the world's most respected HR thought leaders & strategists.
Review the 2019 programme here »

Read More News