Hong Kong will hire foreign skilled workers in 2023.
- Hong Kong plans to change entry rules to recruit 27,000 foreign workers in various industries.
- The government recognizes the importance of the workforce and is concerned about the city’s competitiveness.
- The new plan includes recruitment quotas for 12,000 foreigners in construction and up to 6,300 in aviation industries.
- The city expects to receive job applications starting in July.
- Hong Kong’s economists expecting an increment in the GDP rate to 4.6% this year.
Hong Kong to ease entry rules for foreign workers to recruit manpower shortage
Hong Kong will implement new entrance criteria to address the city’s labour deficit, particularly in construction and aviation. The administration intends to relax entry requirements in order to attract around 27,000 international workers. These reforms are being implemented in response to officials’ concerns about the impact of the worker shortage on the city’s economy and competitiveness.
The significance of labour and the labour shortage
Chris Sun, Secretary for Labour and Welfare, emphasised the labour force as a critical component of Hong Kong’s economic development. The concerns posed by a labour shortage were previously addressed by CEO John Lee.
Economists have identified the elements that are causing Hong Kong’s workforce shortage. These causes include the city’s immigration policies and a dwindling local workforce. As pandemic limitations were lifted and commercial activity expanded, industries were more visible and the need for extra labour grew.
To solve the employment shortage, the government’s plan includes foreign worker recruiting quotas. According to Secretary of Development Bernadette Linn, quotas for up to 12,000 workers in the construction sector would be implemented.
In addition, the aviation industry will hire up to 6,300 people. Lam Sai-hung, Secretary for Transport and Logistics, emphasised the shortage of “front line airport staff” and its impact on the city’s aviation hub.
The aviation sector in Hong Kong has long been hampered by a labour shortage. Even before the epidemic, the city’s airport had 32% fewer employees than before the pandemic.
Operations like as passenger check-in, luggage handling, and catering have been affected due to a labour shortage. Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd, the flagship carrier, has also faced long-term staff shortages as a result of ongoing job layoffs and changes in working conditions throughout the pandemic.
The government expects to receive more job applications for the construction and transportation sectors in July. The processing of these applications may take approximately two months.
The plan covers a total of 26 sectors, and applications for jobs in these sectors will follow. It is expected that the worker quotas will be fully used by next year. With past precedent, many foreign workers are likely to be from mainland China.
Hong Kong’s economy showed signs of fast growth in the first quarter. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg now predict a GDP growth rate of 4.6% for this year. The introduction of foreign workers through the eased entry rules is expected to contribute to economic growth and enhance the city’s overall competitiveness
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