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While the catering industry was panting from the social incident and the downfall of the local economy since mid-2019, the COVID-19 crisis took its toll on the sector just as severely as the other hospitality industry partners have been facing from early 2020. Industry personnel have displayed resilience over rough waters. While battling against the unprecedented storm, creativity, flexibility and agility come into play. The industry has been capitalising on the demand shift and incorporated new ways to stay afloat on likely opportunities.
Similar to other industries facing the legacy of the pandemic and volatile economic environment, hotel careers will be demanding and challenging. With the abundant career development opportunities to be unveiled in the Greater Bay Area, the industry opens doors for those who are willing to explore beyond the local market.
Among the four sectors of the industry, the Local Vessel sector had the highest percentage of ageing staff (i.e. more than 40% of their staff were over the age of 55). The sector is expected to undergo technological transformation with the introduction of new high-speed ferries which requires the operators to master new navigation skills and maintenance knowledge. To ease the ageing problem and adapt to the application of new technology, new blood is particularly required for this sector.
The 2020 survey reveals the updated manpower changes of the print media and publishing industries under the impact of COVID-19 pandemic and industry consolidation. Despite the overall manpower drops in the past few years, the industries transform further towards the directive of technological advancement in areas such as Industry 4.0, e-commerce, digital printing, e-publishing and e-learning in order to keep up with the public’s demand for a more technology-driven life.
Digitalisation has transformed the position of freight transport companies into one-stop service providers, offering global solutions from container and bulk cargo movement to supply chain management and last mile delivery. The industry has to embrace the magnitude of technology innovations to facilitate internal and external communications and increase the speed of decision making to retain customers and develop new business. Additionally, the continuous transformation of the industry requires industry talents to have diversified multidisciplinary skills.
Strong support of the Government and active participation of enterprises have proven to be the key to success for most of the innovative cities in the world. Hong Kong should make use of Mainland China’s favorable policies, advantages of an international financial center and regional cooperation toward its development of innovation and technology. The Government needs to make innovation and technology a priority from resources for research and development, technology talent, investment funding, infrastructure, legislation and regulations and science education.
An important way for Hong Kong’s manufacturing technology industry to enhance its industrial competitiveness is to exercise innovative power in high-value added products and nurture a good mix of a tech-savvy team specialising in Industry 4.0, the inevitable trend to go for manufacturers, with a team of multi-disciplinary talents professional in international project management. These ingredients blending together will bring out the innovation-centric and technological image and career of the manufacturing technology industry, which attract new entrants to join.
The severe coronavirus epidemic and Sino-US trade frictions have dealt a heavy blow to the jewellery, watch and & clock and optical industries. At the same time, it has also accelerated the “digital transformation” of the industries to sustain business development. Under the "New Normal", the industries continue exploring new opportunities, producing and introducing fashionable and personalised products, actively engaging online trading platforms as well as strengthening the use of omni-channels for sales and promotion. With the evolution and rapid development of the industries, a consistent supply of manpower is needed. Practitioners are also required to equip themselves with robust industry knowledge and emerging skills so as to cultivate a customer-oriented mindset. In the long run, this helps facilitate the jewellery, watch & clock and optical industries to develop continuously and move forward.
Apart from the aircraft maintenance sector experienced hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact of the pandemic to the Electrical and Mechanical Services Industry was relatively mild. The industry is facing the challenge of retirement wave and lack of new bloods for succession. To this end, the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department has stepped up their recruitment of technician trainees in recent year, and the trainees were arranged with a 30-month workplace attachment in the private sectors. Adoption of new construction technologies such as Building Information Modelling (BIM), Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA), and Modular Integrated Construction (MiC) is the worldwide trend; in-service practitioners and engineering discipline-related students are highly recommended to equip with relevant knowledge and skills to improve their competitiveness.
Hong Kong’s economy has experienced a setback amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The real estate services industry is comparatively less impacted, and has recruited certain laid-off employees from other industries. Nevertheless, some employers expect that they will face challenges in retaining the talents, in particular the manpower at professional level, owing to the wave of emigration and competition for talents from public sector.
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