Labour Importation Scheme for the Construction Sector – Yuen Long Tam Mi Quarter
To support Hong Kong's future infrastructure development, the construction industry is in need for a robust workforce to undertake large-scale infrastructural projects planned in the pipeline. The CIC has been working closely with the industry in supporting the government's multi-pronged approach to address the manpower shortage, which includes enhancing training for local workers, promoting the wider adoption of innovative technologies by the industry with a view to enhancing productivity, and implementing the Labour Importation Scheme for the Construction Sector (the Scheme) as a supplementary measure to facilitate the industry to meet manpower gaps.
Optimize the Utilisation of Community Isolation Facility by Transforming it into Imported Labour Quarters
Under the Scheme, employers are required to provide accommodation for imported labour residing in Hong Kong at designated locations arranged by the government or at construction sites under the principal contractors to avoid affecting the housing supply in Hong Kong. Given the labour-intensive nature of the construction industry and the substantial number of labour working on sites, it is more practical to arrange transportation between the construction sites and the designated locations for accommodation. The designated locations include the quarters which are converted from the community isolation facility at Tam Mi, Yuen Long.
The Construction Industry Council (CIC) is responsible for the construction, operation and management of the designated quarters for the imported labour. The first designated quarters, in Tam Mi, Yuen Long (the Tam Mi Quarters), have commenced operation in mid-October upon completion of refurbishment and the first batch of about 50 imported labour moved in on 30 October. The overall management team comprises around 100 staff, including security and cleaning service staff.
In addition to providing accommodation for imported labour, a management committee, comprising the CIC’s management team, the Hong Kong Construction Association and employers, has been established to coordinate various arrangements, including meals and transportation, for the imported labour. The objective is to meet their needs while minimizing any disruption to local community. Moreover, the designated quarters operate on a self-financing basis, charging rent from the principal contractors to cover the costs, and no public fund will be used.
CIC’s management team is responsible for the daily operation of the quarters and external liaison work. Additionally, CIC hires relevant service providers to offer services such as cleaning, security, and facility maintenance. The principal contractors and employers are responsible for coordinating meals and transportation arrangements for the imported labour. They are also required to assign representatives to assist the labour in settling into their lives in the quarters and ensure their compliance with the conditions and requirements for accommodation in the quarters.
1,800 Units for 7,000 Imported Labour
Yuen Long Tam Mi Quarters offer 1 800 units, furnished with basic furniture and electrical appliances, providing accommodation for approximately 7 000 imported labour. The Quarters are equipped with essential facilities, including toilets and bathrooms, laundry rooms, pantries, medical service rooms, WiFi service, common rooms, recreational facilities, a convenience store, and vending machines etc. to meet the import labour’s needs.
Minimizing Community Impact through Diverted Transportation Arrangements
To minimize the impacts on the local community, the principal contractors will arrange the imported labour to depart the Quarters for different construction sites before the morning peak hours. The management team of the Quarters, together with the employers, will also arrange after-work activities and related transportation for the imported labour. Commutation will be arranged in batches at different time slots.
We will continue to work closely with the Government, the construction industry, the labour sector, local residents and other stakeholders to ensure a conducive working environment in Hong Kong for the imported labour. The collaborative effort aims to meet the manpower needs of the construction industry, support infrastructure development in Hong Kong and strengthen the economy to improve people’s livelihoods.