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Hong Kong Vision 2020 - A Way Forward

2014 looks to be busy year in the construction industry for Hong Kong. But as another year passes how much closer to achieving the Hong Kong’s Construction Industry Group (CIG) Vision 2020 are we, and what are the key elements to work towards? Let’s look at how these issues affect construction professionals working in Hong Kong.

The CIG Vision 2020 tackles key issues within the construction industry that need to be addressed to ensure Hong Kong is kept at the global forefront of built environment and engineering projects. Consultation with engineers, architects, developers, contractors and construction consultancy firms have given a valuable insight on how best to tackle the issues raised.

So let’s look at 4 of the issues and how they affect construction professionals working in Hong Kong. 

Key Issues:
“We are not safe enough”
“We are not building in an energy efficient and environmentally friendly manner”
“We are not productive enough”
“We do not have a sustainable workforce”

“We are not safe enough”
As current construction projects’ peak, the pressure to meet deadlines increase and this can often lead to accidents, which can in some cases be fatal. Working towards a zero-fatality target for 2020 is a key target in making Hong Kong’s construction market a world leader. So whether you’re a tunneling engineer based on site or an office based quantity surveyor you should both be afforded the same level of safety in the knowledge that you are working in an environment which values health and safety protocols.

“We are not building in an energy efficient and environmentally friendly manner”
The protection of our environment is a real concern of the community: building in a sustainable manner with careful use of natural resources will allow the construction industry to play its part in protecting the environment. Vision 2020 has targeted 25% carbon intensity reduction and 30% construction and demolition waste reduction. In order to achieve these targets environmental specialists such as Environmental Officers and Sustainability Engineers will be in high demand for both Main Contractors and Clients alike. As the market continues to boom, the large MTR and Infrastructure projects which play a significant role in both the consumption of natural resources and carbon production, and will need these professional who will no doubt be in high demand!

“We are not productive enough”
Hong Kong already has a worldwide reputation for high-quality and high-speed construction and rightly so. However this productivity can often lead to unnecessary risks being taken which lead to accidents. With HK$ Billion MTR/Infrastructure/Build/Casino projects due to take place over the next 10 years and beyond the demand to improve on productivity will only increase, but how can we improve on productivity without diminishing the need for stringent health and safety within the industry.

The encouraged use of pre-casting and pre-fabricated techniques in the industry will help improve productivity from the earliest design stage to involve Engineers, Clients, Consultants and Contractors. This will help ease the pressure on site-based staff.

Staffing is also a key issue when looking at productivity. It’s logical to think that increasing human resources will help increase productivity and rightly so. Having the right number of staff with the correct skills to do the job is vital to meeting deadlines and preventing construction projects running in to expensive delays and claims. To meet these staffing demands construction companies are increasingly looking to recruit from overseas locations, this has opened up excellent opportunities for expatriate professional such as M&E Quantity Surveyors, Commercial Managers, Construction Managers, Engineers and Project Directors to come and work in Hong Kong.

“We do not have a sustainable workforce”
Encouraging expatriate staff to come in from overseas locations can only really be seen as a temporary fix to a growing problem of a lack of local skilled professionals. The long-term solution is to have a sustainable local labour market with necessary skills to move these construction projects forward. This involves recruiting from grass roots up and encouraging young professionals to choose a career in the construction industry. Commercial and Engineering staff are already in high demand and this will no doubt increase over the next few years as large MTR and Casino projects begin to peak in both Hong Kong and neighboring Macau. 

Bright Outlook:
With vision 2020 tackling key issues of construction in Hong Kong the outlook for professionals within the industry looks bright and sustainable for the foreseeable future. Both graduate and experienced candidates will have excellent opportunities to work within a booming market on mega sized projects. Already we have seen numerous examples of large scale construction creating 1000s of job opportunities, projects such as the Shatin to Central Link/Express Rail Link MTR projects and the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge, along with the Wynn and City of Dreams Casino projects in Macau have created a backbone for a buoyant job market.

We are always keen to speak with both experienced and newly graduated candidates from both Quantity Surveying and an Engineering background. So if you’re interested to found out more about the future of the Hong Kong construction market and the opportunities available please get in contact and one of our seasoned recruiters who will be happy to discuss suitable opportunities.

Tim Cole
Maxim Recruitment
Hong Kong & Asia Region

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