President’s Message

HR Journal (September 2018 Issue)

 

Labour Shortages and HKIHRM Pulse Survey on Hiring of Retirees

 

 

Dear Members,

 

Hong Kong is facing a tight labour market which has raised concerns for employers, especially at a time when the city’s latest unemployment rate registers at 2.8%, a two-decade low, against the backdrop of our dwindling manpower pool resulting from a low birth rate and ageing population.

According to the Census and Statistics Department, Hong Kong’s crude birth rate in 2017 stood at 7.7%, a continuous drop from 13.5% in 2011. At the same time, Hong Kong’s population aged 65 or above has reached 1.16 million, and by year 2036, the population in this age bracket is estimated to soar to 2.37 million. Statistics also show that the projected number of workers in Hong Kong will decline from 3.65 million in 2017 to 3.43 million in 2037, with a staggering drop of 6% in Hong Kong’s manpower pool in the next two decades.

In early August, I represented the Institute to attend the 2018-19 Policy Address Consultation Session to share members’ views on employmentrelated issues, among which the shrinking workforce and labour shortages were high on the agenda. While the government has put in efforts to relieve Hong Kong’s talent shortages by introducing various talent importation schemes to attract talent from overseas and the Mainland, there is untapped local human capital that can be further explored such as women with family responsibilities, the disabled and ethnic minorities. Equally important, the increasing population of “youngolds” and retirees who are still physically able and willing to work can possibly provide an immediate solution to alleviate our current labour shortfall.

The government has taken the lead to extend the retirement age of general civil servants and staff members of disciplined services to 65 and 60 respectively, hoping that the private sector will follow suit to extend the contractual retirement age. To give employers more impetus to consider re-employment of “young-olds”, it is suggested that the government should extend the employment programme for the middle-aged workforce to employers who engage matureaged workers aged 60 or higher. In tandem with the current measures, it is essential that the government seeks to provide means and incentives to encourage our workers to pursue life-long learning to develop new skills and knowledge in order to meet Hong Kong’s future needs.


Engaging mature-aged workers and retirees in extended employment will be a major area for the government to focus on when it comes to planning for Hong Kong’s future human capital development. The HR profession will certainly have an influential role to play in advising the government on such issues. In this connection, the Institute conducted an HR Pulse survey with members in late August and early September to understand the attitudes of businesses towards the employment of retirees, including current practices and policies, as well as perceived advantages and barriers.


Engaging mature-aged workers and retirees in extended employment will be a major area for the government to focus on when it comes to planning for Hong Kong’s future human capital development. The HR profession will certainly have an influential role to play in advising the government on such issues. In this connection, the Institute conducted an HR Pulse survey with members in late August and early September to understand the attitudes of businesses towards the employment of retirees, including current practices and policies, as well as perceived advantages and barriers.

 

 

 

 

Margaret Cheng
President of the HKIHRM

 


Copyright © 2018 Hong Kong Institute of Human Resource Management. All Rights Reserved.
powered by Motherapp Limited