Electrical and mechanical (E&M) facilities can be found everywhere in Hong Kong. With a considerable number of public works projects and private construction projects slated for completion in the coming years, there will be a keen demand for E&M talents. Recently, the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) and the industry organised the annual “E&M Go!” Orientation Ceremony to welcome young trainees and encourage them to realise their potential and aspirations in the industry. This time, I have specifically invited the Director of Electrical and Mechanical Services (DEMS), Mr SIT Wing-hang, Alfred, to introduce the purpose and details of the event and share with us the department’s work in nurturing E&M talents.
Opportunities abound in E&M industry
The Government always cares about the E&M industry and is willing to inject resources for the development of the industry. The Hong Kong Electrical and Mechanical Trade Promotion Working Group, formed in 2012 jointly by the EMSD and the industry, has put considerable effort into promoting the industry development and organising various promotional activities to attract young entrants. Among them is the “E&M Go!”, which has been held for three consecutive years. This year, more than 700 young E&M trainees from both the public and private sectors were invited to attend the ceremony. In addition, about 300 industry practitioners and trainees’ relatives and friends were present, meaning more than 1 000 people got together for the event with the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr CHEUNG Kin-chung, Matthew, as the officiating guest.
I agree that the E&M industry is fundamental for all industries and plays a prominent role in Hong Kong’s society, economy and people’s livelihood. It is an industry with enormous potential for development and a great sense of mission. In recent years, a number of major infrastructure projects have been progressively completed in Hong Kong. Also, the city’s E&M facilities require periodic updates and maintenance as, for example, older lifts need to be renovated and installed with safety devices to ensure compliance with the current safety standards. The steady E&M employment opportunities provided by these works projects will facilitate the long-term development of the industry.
E&M industry to combine innovation and technology
DEMS, Mr Alfred SIT, says that the theme of this year’s "E&M Go!" is “Engagement • Connect”, and he hopes that through enhanced communication and exchange, young people will fully understand the E&M industry at an early stage after joining the industry . In recent years, the E&M industry has been rapidly moving towards high-end technology by combining innovation and technology. The E&M industry is no longer just about simple crafts, but it also emphasises professionalism and knowledge. Trainees will get in touch with various new technologies at work in future, so they must constantly upgrade themselves in order to seize the opportunities and unleash their potentials.
Strengthening training to expand labour force
Last Friday, we announced our proposed plan to enhance the current four subsidy schemes related to building safety and rehabilitation, including the Lift Modernisation Subsidy Scheme which aims to subsidise eligible building owners to modernise aged lifts to enhance their safety. The funding will be increased from the original $2.5 billion to $4.5 billion so that the number of lifts to be subsidised will be raised to 8 000 from 5 000.
Mr Alfred SIT says that the lift industry is expected to need an additional 360 lift mechanics or so in the coming six years. The EMSD is discussing with the Construction Industry Council to provide appropriate training schemes (such as inclusion of the lift industry into the existing Intermediate Tradesman Collaborative Training Scheme established for the construction industry) to attract more new blood to the industry and, as a result, expand its labour force to handle the additional lift modernisation works. Furthermore, the department has all along been co-operating with the Vocational Training Council and jointly launched the Earn & Learn Scheme to attract young people to study lift-related courses through subsidies.
The young mechanics attending the ceremony showed their confidence in the industry prospect. I believe these new entrants will give new impetus and make a positive difference to the E&M industry. The Government will continue to work with the industry to enhance manpower training for the young members of the trade to shine on the road ahead and create their own new world.
13 October, 2019