To meet manpower needs of future infrastructure projects, the Development Bureau and the Construction Industry Council will provide various training programmes and allowance schemes for the industry.
One of the measures is to target trades with ageing problem or having difficulty in hiring trainees. A monthly training allowance of HK$5,000 will be provided to these employers. Successful graduate trainees will receive a monthly salary of not less than $8,000 from participating employers, and the amount will be increased to not less than $10,000 after six months.
Another measure is to improve the practices of the construction industry. This will include requiring public works contractors to provide uniforms for workers and improving the working environment on construction sites.
During the financial tsunami, public works contractors might have problems securing loans, and the Development Bureau has introduced interim payment arrangement in contracts and released part of the retention money after the defects liability period had half expired so as to improve the contractors’ cash flow problems. By the end of 2009, a total of 404 contracts have benefited from these measures. The Secretary for Development, Carrie Lam, said that since the economic outlook is still uncertain and employment in the industry still not satisfactory, such arrangement will be extended to the end of 2010.
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