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Population Policy Objective

To develop and nurture a population that will continuously support and drive Hong Kong’s socio-economic development as Asia’s world city, and engender a socially inclusive and cohesive society that allows individuals to realise their potential, with a view to attaining quality life for all residents and families

A Five-Pronged Strategy

Adequate and quality manpower resources are the key to our sustainable socio-economic development.  A five-pronged strategy has been adopted to tackle the demographic challenges:

  • Creating a conducive environment to draw more women and mature persons into the labour market to avoid our future socio-economic development being impeded by insufficient manpower;
  • Sustaining economic development to provide more diversified job opportunities with promising prospects for our younger generation. We should also improve education and training to equip our young people with skills needed by our economy and help them achieve their career aspirations;
  • Adopting a more proactive and targeted approach to attract more outside talent to work and settle in Hong Kong to build up our stock of human capital. We should also consider more effective importation of labour arrangements for industries suffering from persistent manpower shortage without jeopardising the interests of local workers;
  • Fostering a supportive environment for our people to form and raise families; and
  • Building an age-friendly environment, promoting active ageing and tapping the valuable pool of elderly resources.
Population Policy Initiatives

Population policy covers a wide range of areas including:

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Premised on the existing policies, a series of initiatives has been formulated to realise the population policy objective and tackle the challenges brought about by the changing demographic structure. Some of the key initiatives are listed below:

Sustainable Growth as Our Development Strategy

  • Commenced the “Hong Kong 2030+: Towards a Planning Vision and Strategy Transcending 2030” in early 2015 to examine the strategy and feasible options for overall spatial planning, land and infrastructure development beyond 2030. It has identified three building blocks, namely “Planning for a Liveable High-density City”, “Embracing New Economic Challenges and Opportunities” and “Creating Capacity for Sustainable Growth”. A 6-month public engagement was held from October 2016 to April 2017.

Human Resources Planning

  • Set up a new Commission for the Planning of Human Resources to be chaired by the Chief Secretary for Administration to formulate, examine, co-ordinate and take forward strategies and measures to help develop a competitive workforce to sustain the economic development of Hong Kong.

Unleashing the Potential of Local Labour Force

  • Raised the retirement age for new recruits in June 2015 for the civilian grades to 65 and that for the disciplined services grades to 60. Formulate flexible measures for extending the service of serving civil servants. Plan to extend the retirement age for serving civil servants joining the service between 1 June 2000 and 31 May 2015 accordingly.
  • Encourage other employers to implement appropriate measures according to their own circumstances to extend the working life of their employees.
  • Relaxed the upper age limit for Category B Security Personnel Permits from 65 to 70 under the Security and Guarding Services Ordinance from December 2015 onwards.
  • Enhance the employment support services for women, mature persons and disadvantaged group such as retraining, providing job information and matching services, and on-the-job training allowance for the mature persons, the disabled, and ethnic minorities.
  • Continue to organise large-scale, district-based and thematic job fairs in collaboration with employers from different sectors and through the three dedicated recruitment centres.
  • Promote more flexible employment patterns. For example, on-the-job training allowance for employers under the Employment Programme for the Middle-aged was extended to cover part-time jobs in September 2015.
  • Strengthen child care services to support women in fulfilling work and family commitments. For example, the Government will provide a total of about 300 additional places in aided stand-along child care centres in the North District, Kwun Tong, Kwai Tsing and Sha Tin starting from 2018-19.

Enhancing the Quality of Our Home-Grown Talent

  • Promote vocational education and skills-based jobs as alternative career pathway.
  • Provide additional subsidised higher education places from various sources such as local publicly-funded and self-financing institutions and universities outside Hong Kong.

Attracting Talent from Outside

  • Enhanced the stay arrangements under the General Employment Policy, the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals, and the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme and refined the General Points Test under the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme.
  • Implemented a pilot scheme in May 2015 to attract the second generation of Chinese Hong Kong permanent residents who have emigrated overseas to return to Hong Kong.
  • Action is being undertaken to draw up a talent list for attracting overseas talent in a focused manner.
  • Review the employment and immigration restrictions for non-local graduates from time to time.
  • Step up the promotion of the admission schemes by the overseas Economic and Trade Offices and Mainland offices of the Government.

Importation of Labour

  • Optimise the use and development of local workforce through training and retraining. Meanwhile, import labour on an appropriate, limited and targeted basis to relieve the manpower shortage of some sectors while giving priority to locals in employment.
  • Expedited the processing of applications of the construction industry for labour importation for public works projects under the Supplementary Labour Scheme in mid-April 2014 and enhanced its flexibility in May 2015.

Fostering a Supportive Environment for Forming and Raising Families

  • Increased the basic and additional child allowances from $70,000 to $100,000 from 2015-16 onwards.
  • Completed the review on the statutory paternity leave and initially proposes to increase paternity leave from 3 days to 5 days. The Government will commence a study on extending the duration of the 10-week statutory maternity leave.
  • Implemented 15-year free education to help alleviate the financial burden on young couples through the free quality kindergarten education policy from 2017-18 onwards.
  • Continue to promote family-friendly employment practices in the community.

Embracing Opportunities in an Ageing Society

  • The second phase of extension of the Public Transport Fare Concession Scheme for the elderly was implemented in June 2015.
  • Enhance support for elder academies which can provide the elderly with diversified courses on an on-going basis for the promotion of lifelong learning and cross-sectoral harmony.
  • Encourage elderly people to actively take part in community affairs, and to continue contributing to society and lead a fruitful elderly life by joining elderly volunteer service as well as activities relating to community education and intergenerational harmony.
  • Provide choices of service for the elderly and at the same time promote the development of the silver hair market through the Senior Citizen Residences Scheme and the Reverse Mortgage Programme.
  • Continue to install barrier-free facilities such as lifts at the existing public rental housing estates and public walkways.
  • Provide additional resources for District Councils to promote the building of age-friendly communities at the district level.