Steering Committee on Population Policy convenes fifth meeting

The Steering Committee on Population Policy (SCPP) chaired by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, held its fifth meeting this afternoon (July 26).

  Members noted that the Government has been conducting the Manpower Projection from time to time to assess the broad trend of Hong Kong's future manpower supply at the macro level. The latest projections were published in the Report on Manpower Projection to 2018 which adopted 2010 as the base year for projection. It projected that manpower supply would grow at an average annual rate of 0.6 per cent from 2010 to 2018, while manpower requirement would grow at an average annual rate of 1.1 per cent during the same period. There would be a projected manpower shortfall of about 14 000 in Hong Kong in 2018. The ageing in local manpower supply was evident, with a sharp increase in the workforce aged 55 or above along with the ageing of our post-war baby boomers. The proportion of this labour segment in overall local manpower supply was expected to grow from 13.2 per cent in 2010 to 18.8 per cent in 2018.

  Members also noted that the Government is conducting a new round of the Manpower Projection for projecting the manpower supply and requirement situation up to 2022. It is expected that the projection findings will be completed in the first quarter of 2014.

  Following on from its discussion at the last meeting, the SCPP further discussed the preparation required for the public engagement exercise to be launched in October this year. Members agreed to invite public views on population policy along three strategic directions: First, upgrading human capital and minimising skills mismatch through education and training, and encouraging more women to join the labour market and extending the work lives of the overall labour force to increase labour supply. Second, admitting more professionals from the Mainland and abroad proactively to strengthen our pool of human capital, and considering to import low-skilled workers in a more effective manner while without jeopardising the interests of local labour to alleviate manpower shortage in different business sectors. Third, stimulating public discussion on ways to foster a supportive environment for raising children, as well as bringing out the questions of who should bear the additional financial costs.

  The SCPP considered that, given the wide range of issues for discussion under the population policy, the public engagement exercise should be launched in phases to facilitate focused discussion in society and a thematic topic should be set for each phase. In addition, the SCPP also agreed that the public engagement exercise should be conducted at different forums, including district forums, focus groups and consultation sessions with various organisations, to gauge public views more extensively.

  (Source: Issued from HKT, Government News on Friday, July 26, 2013)