New short-term jobs to create job opportunities
The Chief Executive has earlier announced a series of new measures under the Anti-epidemic Fund for the purposes of retaining, creating and advancing jobs. Among these measures, it is proposed that around 30 000 time-limited jobs be created in both the public and private sectors in the coming two years to ease the worsening unemployment situation due to the COVID-19 epidemic. The Development Bureau (DEVB) and the departments under its purview will proactively facilitate and implement the creation of about 4 700 short-term jobs covering different trades in the coming period. This time, I have invited colleagues of the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD), and the Buildings Department (BD) to give us details about some of the short-term jobs to be created.
Creating 4 700 short-term jobs
The short-term jobs will be created for people of different fields, skill sets and academic qualifications, including professionals, as well as technicians and backend office staff who provide support services. For example, a consultant will be commissioned to draft guidelines for the adoption of Design for Manufacture and Assembly in government building projects, and additional staff will be employed to enhance the performance of the electrical and mechanical (E&M) systems of government facilities, inspect the external drainage pipes of buildings, speed up the implementation of the Landslip Prevention and Mitigation Programme and expedite the replacement and repair of drainage systems. Furthermore, there will be positions for fresh graduates such as the graduate programmes in building surveying, town planning, estate surveying, land surveying and engineering.
Of the around 4 700 newly created jobs, including more than 530 government positions and over 4 100 positions in the private sector, some will progressively materialise within three months at the earliest. The newly created short-term government positions will be filled through the recruitment process. For the newly created positions in the private sector, they will be created mainly through the Government’s procurement of services from consultants or contractors under existing or new contract arrangements.
Assisting in stepping up the cleaning of E&M facilities
Among others, the EMSD plans to create more than 1 200 temporary positions, with the longest contract period lasting as long as 18 months. Building Services Engineer (Building Information Modelling) of the EMSD, Ms POON Chi-ying, Christy, says that about half of the newly created jobs will assist in the additional cleansing of the E&M systems of thousands of government buildings, including some 40 hospitals, 370 municipal and recreational facilities, and 2 000 government buildings. For example, they will step up the additional cleaning of air ducts and related filter components of air-conditioning systems to enhance the environmental hygiene.
Assisting in E&M digitisation
Another half of the temporary jobs will assist in the digitisation work of E&M assets, for example, affixing Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags onto major E&M equipment, inputting asset information, digitalising maintenance manuals, etc. In the future, E&M maintenance personnel will only need to scan the RFID tags to enter the mobile platform and see the information of individual E&M systems, which will facilitate remote monitoring and fault diagnosis anytime and anywhere. Ms Christy POON says the department hopes to complete the digitisation work to raise the professional standards of E&M asset management and move forward to the new era of E&M digitisation.
“Body check” for drainage pipes at external walls
Under the pandemic, many building owners are concerned about the “health” of the drainage system in their buildings. Structural Engineer of the BD, Mr NG Kwan Pok, says that, as a preventive measure, the BD will commission consultants to proactively inspect the external drainage pipes of more than 20 000 private domestic/composite target buildings across the territory. This aims to tackle building safety problems and maintain a safe building environment under the principle of "prevention is better than cure". The commissioned consultants will need extra manpower and it is expected that more than 400 positions will be created.
Assisting in enhancing building safety
Furthermore, the BD will recruit staff for 120 short-term positions. Mr NG Kwan Pok says that their job duties will include selecting more Category 2 buildings under the Operation Building Bright 2.0 for which the BD will exercise its statutory power to carry out inspection and repair works prescribed in the Mandatory Building Inspection Scheme on behalf of the owners; expediting the handling of non-compliant drainage repair orders and cases of misconnection of drainage pipes; and organising more public education and publicity activities to promote public awareness of proper repair and maintenance of drainage pipes.
In view of the COVID-19 epidemic, we aim to create more short-term jobs to boost the vibrancy of the job market and offer jobs for experienced professionals, technical and supporting staff, fresh graduates, etc. Meanwhile, we are seeking to recruit more staff to expedite the delivery and enhancement of existing services, as well as to commence planned projects ahead of schedule to benefit people’s livelihood.
26 April, 2020