June 13, 2023
Today, the government unveiled its plan to import labor, aiming to recruit 900 public minibus drivers and 800 coach drivers in order to tackle the current workforce shortage, which amounts to approximately half of the required manpower.
Ben Chan, Legislative Council's Transport Panel Chairman and DAB spokesperson for transport acknowledges that the transportation industry is currently grappling with challenges stemming from the demographic structure in Hong Kong. These challenges have led to recruitment difficulties and an aging driver population. In light of this, he expresses his support for the government's decision to import drivers as a means to address the pressing issue.
Nevertheless, Ben Chan emphasizes that this measure of labor importation should be regarded as a temporary solution aimed at alleviating the severe driver shortage. He asserts that the government should prioritize local employment policies as a long-term strategy. Additionally, considering the unique features of Hong Kong, such as narrow roads and distinct traffic sign and road marking designs in comparison to the Mainland, he urges the authorities to closely monitor the training provided by operators to the imported drivers. It is imperative that these drivers receive comprehensive pre-employment training to familiarize themselves with routes and local traffic conditions, ensuring their competence and safety on the roads.
DAB LegCo member and Spokesperson for Transport Ben Chan (92747035)