Motion Speeches

建造業人力資源 Manpower of construction industry

 以下是立法會會議上盧偉國議員的提問和發展局局長馬紹祥的答覆:
 
問題:
 
  根據香港建造商會於去年十一月進行的建造業勞工短缺情況調查,建造業工人的短缺率約為百分之七點五,較之前兩年同期的百分之十八點六及百分之十二點八為低。雖然人手短缺問題略為紓緩,但勞動力老化問題仍困擾業界。目前超過四成建造業工人(即約17萬人)為50歲或以上。有建造業人士指出,各項基建工程項目應按未來的建造業人手供求情況有序地開展。就此,政府可否告知本會:
 
(一)鑑於《鐵路發展策略2014》下的第一批鐵路工程項目(包括北環線及古洞站、屯門南延線及東九龍線),預計最快於二○一八年及二○一九年開展,政府有否設法確保該等新鐵路工程項目如期甚至提早開展,以善用港珠澳大橋及廣深港高速鐵路香港段工程項目,在未來一兩年內完成後所釋放出來的建造業人手,從而避免再次出現多個工程項目因同時上馬而互相爭奪人手的情況;若有,詳情為何;若否,原因為何;
 
(二)會否制訂一份按照緩急程度排序的基建和工務工程項目清單,以改善建造業人手供求情況的預測和分配工作,從而確保建造業的可持續發展,避免出現工人「一時做死,一時餓死」的情況;若會,詳情為何;若否,原因為何;及
 
(三)有否因應從過往經驗汲取的教訓,在規劃各個工務工程項目時,評估所需的工人和專業人員數目,以便及早謀劃適當的配套措施,包括在與有關持份者加強溝通後,制訂以工程項目為基礎的輸入外勞計劃;若有,詳情為何;若否,原因為何?
 
答覆:

主席:
 
  政府一直適時並有序地持續推展基本工程項目,以改善市民的生活質素、提升香港的長遠競爭力和推動經濟發展。現時,社會對公共設施需求殷切、土地和住屋供應緊張、交通網絡負荷日增、人口老化及醫療設施極需提升及擴充等情況,政府及建造業界是有需要滿足社會發展的需要和回應市民生活的訴求。
 
  為應付建造業對人手持續的需求,我們一直與建造業議會(議會)合作,採取了一系列措施,包括適時就專業人員及工人進行人力供求的評估,透過拓展行業的晉升階梯和宣傳推廣以吸引更多新人入行,以及加強培訓本地建造業人員的技術水平至半熟練和熟練的程度。由二○○九年至二○一六年,議會已培訓24 000多名半熟練技術工人,當中約六成為35歲以下,比現時註冊工人的平均年齡46歲為低,反映有更多年青新血有興趣入行,而註冊工人的總數亦已從二○○九年的約270 000人上升至現時的430 000人,當中註冊熟練/半熟練技工人數由二○○九年的約107 000人上升至現時的約214 000人。
 
  另外,在保障本地工人優先就業和工資水平的前提下,承建商亦可透過「補充勞工計劃」申請輸入技術工人。我們亦會繼續推動業界採用減低人力需求的設計和施工方法,和支持議會成立建造業創新及科技應用中心。
 
  就盧偉國議員的提問,現答覆如下:
 
(一)運輸及房屋局(運房局)已按照《鐵路發展策略2014》初步建議的落實時間,於去年二月邀請香港鐵路有限公司(港鐵公司)就落實北環線(及古洞站)、東九龍線和屯門南延線提交建議書,以推展各個新鐵路項目。該局亦於今年一月邀請港鐵公司就落實東涌西延線(及東涌東站)提交建議書。
 
  港鐵公司已於二○一六年十二月底向政府提交屯門南延線的建議書,並會在今年較後時間提交北環線(及古洞站)和東九龍線的建議書。運房局、路政署及相關部門現正就屯門南延線的建議書內容進行評估,並要求港鐵公司進一步提供資料,以及補充有關建議的細節,以確保其建議切實可行,能為社區帶來最大的裨益。
 
  各新鐵路項目的實際落實事宜須取決於屆時就相關項目進行的詳細工程、環境及財務研究結果,以及最新的客運需求評估和是否有足夠的資源。政府將會顧及實際情況,包括建造業的人力資源情況,有序地推展新鐵路項目。按照既定程序,在敲定任何新鐵路方案前,政府會就方案的具體走線、車站位置、推展方式、成本估算、融資模式,以至實際推展時間表諮詢公眾。
 
(二)政府一直為基建工程作出長遠的規劃。在決定項目推行的優次過程中,我們會考慮工程項目的實際需要及逼切性、成本效益、財務方面的承擔能力等。此外,我們亦會評估建造業的承受能力,確保工程能夠順利進行,亦可讓建造業能夠有一個平穩可持續發展的環境。
 
  此外,政府和議會協作,制訂未來十年的整體公、私營工程量預測,並按時向業界及公眾發放相關結果,以便業界能夠及早計劃調配資源,應付未來工作需求。根據去年底最新的預測,未來五至十年的公、私營工程總量將會超過3,000億元的水平,顯示建造服務需求持續殷切,長遠而言,整體工程量會相對穩定。但是,近年工務工程的推展,經常受撥款審批進度緩慢的影響。以今年為例,已經是史無前例的出現由去年七月起的八個月內全無新工程項目獲批撥款的境況。議會的「拉布」已導致工程量出現大幅的波動,無可避免造成所謂「一時做死,一時餓死」的情況,可能會打擊新人入行的意欲和影響業界可持續的發展。
 
(三)建造業議會會因應最新情況適時進行人力供求的評估,當中包括專業人員及工人。
 
  議會剛於二○一六年十二月公布了人力預測報告,估計在未來數年,建造業仍會欠缺約10 000至15 000名技術工人。除了推出了各項加強招募和培訓更多技術工人的措施外,在與各持份者的協商下,自二○一四年四月起,我們在「補充勞工計劃」下推出優化措施,協助加快公營工程承建商涉及26項人手短缺工種提出輸入勞工申請的事前準備工作。在優化措施推出後,獲批申請的平均審批時間由約7.5個月減至目標的約六個月。
 
  至於專業人員方面,在二○一四年的評估顯示,有個別專業出現人手緊張的情況。不過,根據業界人士的反映,專業人員的人手緊張情況已有輕微紓緩。議會現正更新有關預測,預計結果將於二○一七年年中公布。
 
  我們會繼續與持份者緊密聯繫,檢討現時措施的成效,並會持開放態度與業界探討各種可行的措施,更有效地增加技術工人的供應,以滿足推展基本工程於人力方面的需求。

 

Following is a question by the Dr Hon Lo Wai-kwok and a reply by the Secretary for Development, Mr Eric Ma, in the Legislative Council: 

     According to a survey on labour shortage in the construction industry conducted by the Hong Kong Construction Association in November last year, the shortage rate of construction workers stood at about 7.5 per cent, which was lower than the corresponding rates of 18.6 per cent and 12.8 per cent in the same period of the preceding two years. While the manpower shortage problem has been slightly alleviated, the industry is still plagued by the problem of an ageing labour force. At present, over 40 per cent of construction workers (i.e. about 170 000 people) are 50 years old or above. Some members of the construction industry have pointed out that various infrastructure projects should commence in an orderly manner in accordance with the future manpower supply and demand situation of the construction industry. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) given that the first batch of railway projects (including the Northern Link and Kwu Tung Station, the Tuen Mun South Extension and the East Kowloon Line) under the Railway Development Strategy 2014 is expected to commence in 2018 and 2019 the soonest, whether the Government has explored ways to ensure that such new railway projects commence as scheduled or even ahead of schedule, with a view to making good use of the construction industry manpower to be released following the completion of the works projects of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao-Bridge and the Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link within the next one to two years, thereby avoiding the recurrence of the situation where, owing to the concurrent commencement of a number of works projects, the projects concerned have to compete with each other for manpower; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;
 
(2) whether it will work out a list of infrastructure and public works projects prioritised according to their degree of urgency, for the purpose of improving the projection on the manpower supply and demand situation of the construction industry and the distribution of work, so as to ensure the sustainable development of the construction industry and avoid the situation where workers suffer from the plight of "dying of overwork at one time and of starvation at another"; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

(3) whether it has, in the light of the lessons learnt from past experience, assessed the required numbers of workers and professionals when planning various public works projects, so as to facilitate the early planning of suitable complementary measures, including the formulation, after strengthening the communication with the relevant stakeholders, of project-based plans for importation of foreign labour; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?

Reply:
 
President,
 
     The Government has been implementing capital works projects in a continuous, timely and orderly manner with a view to improving people's quality of living, enhance the long-term competitiveness and promote the economic development of Hong Kong. At present, the demand for public facilities in the community is keen. The supply of land and housing is very tight. Our transport network is under tremendous pressure for expansion. Our ageing population also entails a pressing need for enhancing and expanding the healthcare facilities. As such, the Government and the construction industry are required to meet both the social development needs and the community's aspirations for living quality.
 
     To cope with the persistent manpower demand of the construction industry, we have been collaborating with the Construction Industry Council (CIC) in launching a host of measures. They include conducting assessments on the supply and demand of professionals and workers at appropriate junctures; developing progression pathways and carrying out promotions to attract new entrants to join the industry; and strengthening training for local construction workers to upgrade their skills to semi-skilled and skilled levels. From 2009 to 2016, the CIC has trained up more than 24 000 semi-skilled workers. About 60 per cent of them were under 35 years old and well below 46 which is the average age of the registered workers at present. This shows that many young people are interested in joining the industry. During the period of 2009 to present, the total number of registered workers has risen from 270 000 to 430 000 while that of registered skilled/semi-skilled workers has also risen from about 107 000 to 214 000.
 
     Under the overriding premise of according priority to the employment of local workers and safeguarding their wage level, contractors may apply to import skilled workers under the Supplementary Labour Scheme (SLS). We will also continue to encourage the industry to adopt designs and construction methods that require less labour input and support the CIC in establishing an innovation and technology application centre.
 
     My reply to the Dr Hon Lo Wai-kwok's question is as follows:
 
(1) Having regard to the indicative implementation window recommended in the Railway Development Strategy 2014, the Transport and Housing Bureau (THB) invited the Mass Transit Railway Corporation Limited (MTRCL) in February last year to submit proposals for the implementation of the Northern Link (and Kwu Tung Station), East Kowloon Line and Tuen Mun South Extension with a view to taking forward the new railway projects. The Bureau also invited the MTRCL in January this year to submit a proposal for the implementation of the Tung Chung West Extension (and Tung Chung East Station).

     The MTRCL submitted the proposal for the Tuen Mun South Extension to the Government in end December 2016, and will submit the proposals for the Northern Link (and Kwu Tung Station) and East Kowloon Line later this year. The THB, the Highways Department and relevant departments are evaluating the proposal for the Tuen Mun South Extension, and have requested the MTRCL to provide additional information and supplement details of the relevant proposal in order to ensure that its proposal will be practically feasible and bring maximum benefits to the community.
 
     The taking forward of new railway projects will be subject to the outcome of detailed engineering, environmental and financial studies relating to each project, as well as updated demand assessment and the availability of resources. The Government will implement new railway projects in an orderly manner in light of actual circumstances including the manpower situation of the construction industry. As an established procedure, the Government will consult the public on the detailed alignment, locations of stations, mode of implementation, cost estimate, mode of financing and actual implementation timetable prior to the finalisation of any new railway scheme.
 
(2) The Government has been all along conducting long-term planning for infrastructure projects and taking account of their actual needs, urgency and cost-effectiveness and the financial sustainability etc. when prioritising the projects. We would also assess the delivery capacity of the construction industry to ensure the smooth implementation of the projects. This can also serve to foster a steady and sustainable development of the construction industry.
 
     In addition, the Government collaborates with the CIC in formulating forecast on the overall construction output in both public and private sectors over a 10-year horizon. The results are regularly published for the information of the industry and the public so that the industry can carry out early planning of their resources deployment to meet the future workload. According to the latest forecast published at the end of last year, the total construction output of the public and private sectors in the next five to 10 years will exceed the level of $300 billion, indicating a persistent high demand for construction services. In the long run, the total construction output will remain relatively steady. However, the implementation of public works projects has been constantly affected by the slow progress in obtaining funding approval in recent years. In this year, for example, it has come to an unprecedented situation that no new projects have been approved for the past eight months since last July. The "filibustering" in Legislative Council has caused the drastic fluctuations of the construction output and inevitably brought about the situation of "dying of overwork at one time and starvation at another". This may, in turn, undermine the willingness of new entrants to join the industry and affect the sustainable development of the industry.
 
(3) At appropriate junctures, the CIC conducts assessments of the supply and demand of manpower, including the professionals and workers, based on the latest situation.
 
     According to the latest report on manpower forecast for construction workers released by CIC in December 2016, the shortage of about 10 000 to 15 000 skilled workers will still persist in the next few years. Apart from various measures to step up recruiting and training up skilled workers, we also, in collaboration with the industry stakeholders, rolled out enhancement measures in April 2014 to expedite the preparatory works for SLS applications involving 26 trades with manpower shortage as submitted by public works contractors. With the launching of these enhancement measures, the average processing time for approving the applications has been shortened from about 7.5 months to the target of 6 months.
 
     The assessments in 2014 indicated that there was shortage of professionals in some disciplines. But based on the industry's views, the tough shortfall has been slightly alleviated at the moment. The CIC is currently updating the related forecast and will release the results in mid-2017.
 
     We will continue to liaise closely with the stakeholders to review the effectiveness of the current measures. We are also open to explore with the industry different viable options that can effectively increase the supply of skilled workers to meet the manpower demand for implementing capital works projects.

立法會盧偉國議員 博士 工程師 (工程界)
Legislative Council Ir Dr Hon Lo Wai Kwok (Functional Constituency - Engineering)