1. Based on the articles, identify issues/problems/challenges facing IHRM in HK.
2. Provide solutions to the above. (150 words)
What can be done?
3. Summary of Scenarios. (150 words)
Scenario 1: high turnover rate
Scenario 2:Manpower shortage
Scenario 3:working pressure
Scenario 4: low wage and long working hours in Hong Kong
4. Individual reflection. (150 words)
Say where you see yourself (professionally) in 5 years’ time. How will you be affected by the IHRM scenario your team has built(Scenarios 1-4).
Calling young sea dogs: Hong Kong’s maritime services industry needs fresh blood to replace ageing crews, according to the latest report from Vacation Training Council(VTC), more than 23,000 employees worked in the maritime services industry in 2014, with 500 jobs to be filled, while nearly one-fifth of those employed were above the age of 51.
1. VTC can help to train more students with professional maritime knowledge, practical skills for shipboard operations and training on practices in maritime industries for the purpose of preparing them to pursue further study and development in the seafaring career and marine-related sectors.
2. Another of training should be found in BBA (Hons) in International Shipping and Transport Logistics offered by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
It should be replaced all the old staff in those two programmes.
Hong Kong is a Urban population aging now. So many industries also met to need to refresh blood. In maritime service also met this problem. In VTC has a programme call Higher Diploma in Maritime Studies what need to finish for 2 years in full time. Hong Kong’s maritime services industry should be got more payment to attract more new man to join in this industry. It should be attracted more young people to join to train in VTC and employ them when they finished in this programme. And BBA (Hons) in International Shipping and Transport Logistics offered by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University just needed 3 years can be finished. In the end, it should be replaced all the old staff in the future five years.
South China Morning Post, Calling young sea dogs: Hong Kong’s maritime services industry needs fresh blood to replace ageing crews, 18 March 2016, available from http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/education-community/article/1926909/calling-young-sea-dogs-hong-kongs-maritime, accessed 18 March 2016
Vacation Training Council,Higher Diploma in Maritime Studies, available from
http://www.vtc.edu.hk/admission/en/programme/eg114712-higher-diploma-in-maritime-studies/, accessed 18 March 2016
Issue: Manpower shortage
o 2015 Hays Asia Salary Guide shows that 72% of employers expect an increase of business activity in the year ahead, with Hong Kong GDP expected to grow between 1% & 3% in 2015, the only way is up for the demand of highly skilled workers.
– Example 1: Government supported $2 billion innovation and technology venture fund and other initiatives such as the “WiFi City” plan, an increase in demand for talent in the industry is expected (e.g. talent in telecommunication, front- and back-end web developers, data scientists, coding specialists, specialist IT sales mangers)
– Example 2: Government will supply about 97,100 public housing units over the next five years, so the demands for construction, property and engineering talents is set to soar.
o 2015 Hays Asia Salary Guide argues that 72% of employers in Hong Kong claimed they would consider sponsoring or employing a qualified overseas candidate due to worsening talent gap and shortage of highly-skilled local professionals (e.g. sales, engineering, IT, and technical roles at the junior to mid management level). http://hongkongbusiness.hk/hr-education/commentary/why-hong-kong-needs-keep-tapping-overseas-talent-pool
o Rising demand for engineering professionals in Hong Kong
Solution: Raising retirement age
o Nearly 80% of Hong Kong HR professionals and practitioners believe that raising retirement age is an effective measure to alleviate pressure in Hong Kong’s manpower shortage.
o HKSAR Government extended the retirement age of newly hired civil servants from 60 to 65, which encourage employers to extend the working life of employees.
o “Extending the retirement age is an option which could help reduce the acute manpower shortage. It allows organizations to continue taking advantage of experienced employees. However, companies are advised to consider if extending the retirement age would hinder the promotion of younger employees. They should also have a succession plan in place to ensure business continuity.”
Issue: Working pressure and anxiety/work-life balance
o According to Hays, many professionals find it difficult tot switch off or succumb to guilt by limiting their time away from the office.
o The advancement of mobile technology in the past decade means the office is never too far away, leaving many to feel as though they should always be available.
o A government report by the Census and Statistics Department found last year that Hongkongers work an average of 2,300 hours each year—well eclipsing the average of 1,700 hours per annum of other developed countries. And the city is stressed out to the brink.
o Bonnie Yau, the Council’s executive director, says that “one in five people in Hong Kong may have mental illness,” which she attributes to high and “devastating” levels of work stress. A survey sponsored by the Council, along with the non-profit Federation of Youth Groups, surveyed 377 workers in June 2015 and found that 60 percent suffered from high levels of stress.
o The Mental Health Association of Hong Kong (MHA) is an NGO that has been serving Hong Kong’s mentally ill and handicapped since 1954. MHA data shows that 11.8 percent of the Hong Kong population is depressed. That’s compared to an average of 4 to 5 percent in other developed cities. In January 2015, the MHA released the results of a screening of Hong Kong’s adult work force, through all districts of the city. Respondents widely reported loss of energy, insomnia, waning interest in everyday life and even suicidal ideation.
o Scott Dobroski, career trend analyst for career website Glassdoor, said that technological advances were partially responsible for the decline. Employees were now connected to their work by e-mail and smartphone. This meant they had to do extra work at night and weekends and even on vacation, Dobroski said.
Solution: Flexible working system/work teams
o Flexible hours systems and personal discretion over time clearly enable employees to have a more balanced lifestyle, even if these practices are currently enjoyed by only small proportions of the labour force
o Suggested employers to look inside each of their working practices, and seek an improved design that builds in safeguards for the work–life balance.
– Work teams, for example, could themselves be charged with addressing work–life balance issues when setting output targets for their members. Practices such as appraisal systems, team working and performance-related pay need to be reviewed in such a way as to respect and value the diversity of life circumstances and work–life preferences among employees.
News › Hong Kong ›
Low wages and long hours holding back sea safety, Hong Kong ferry operator
PUBLISHED : Saturday, 14 February, 2015, 3:30pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 15 February, 2015, 4:00am
LAMMA FERRY DISASTER
Thomas Chan firstname.lastname@example.org
Several measures have been put in place to ensure safer navigation in Hong Kong waters after the
2012 sea tragedy that claimed 39 lives, ferry operators told the Post.
But manpower shortage remains a stumbling block to improving the industry, said one operator.
Few people want to join as crew members because of the poor wages and long hours and this has
an impact on operations, said Ken Wong Hon-kuen, director of operator Peng Chau Kaito.
In 2013, the Marine Department announced five measures, including requiring vessels that carry
more than 100 passengers to have a lookout on the bridge at night and in reduced visibility, and
vessels to have a master list so that every crew member is aware of his duties in case of
emergency. The changes were implemented in November.
Other measures are: setting a minimum number of crew required in specific emergency situations,
requiring the vessel’s name to be printed on every life jacket, and watertight doors with alarms
below the main deck to be fitted to the wheelhouse.
The Marine Department said last week it is planning to implement various other improvement
measures this year, including enhancing the training of coxswains, requiring coxswains to undergo
regular medical examinations, and devising guidelines on rest arrangements of crew.
But Wong of Peng Chau Kaito feared that the measures will just have too few hands to implement
them given the manpower shortage facing the industry.
“[The problem] is the evil consequence of the government’s acts. Every time we tried to ask for a
fare increase, the government would in return ask us to consider the benefit of society as a whole,”
Having to cope with the pressure of oil prices and maintenance fees, he said that the only way the
operators could cut costs was by keeping salaries low.
DON’T MISS: Sea Smooth skipper convicted of manslaughter as Lamma ferry captain
cleared of same charges 
An occasional spectator at the trial of two skippers involved in the Lamma tragedy, a former ferry
captain who identified himself only as Mr Ho, said his peers often dozed off during their journeys
because of their long working hours.
He said that local ferry coxswains in general worked 24 hours on one shift, followed by one day of
rest. Some routes provide round-the-clock services, requiring the captain to start at 7am, signing
off from his shift the next morning at the same time. Those on other routes spend the night
sleeping in their boats doubling up as security guards.
Low wages and long hours holding back sea safety, Hong Kong ferry operator says 1 / 2
Topics: Lamma ferry crash
More on this:
‘I am no longer angry, but I miss my son’: a mother’s grief after Lamma sea tragedy 
Verdicts a boost to claims by victims and relatives 
Wong said that with their long working hours, captains could sometimes lack adequate rest that
could affect their concentration. As many were also older, there was a risk of them being slower in
their response to emergencies, he felt.
He added that it was impossible to change the rosters due to insufficient hands. “If we change to
an eight-hour shift, we would have to expand our manpower by two to three times,” he added.
Apart from the five immediate measures, the Marine Department also announced in 2013 other
medium- and longer-term measures, such as the installation of automatic identification systems
(AIS) to track boats.
AIS can transmit information of a ship, including position, direction and speed, to other ships and
Both Wong and Johnny Leung Tak-hing, Star Ferry’s general manager, said that the systems did
little to help collision avoidance. “The system is only useful for post-collision investigations,” Leung
Wong said that local skippers had no experience in using the systems, and the government had
not mentioned any relevant training programmes.
“It is a waste of public money by installing tracers on each vessel, which makes us look like
criminals,” Wong said.
He added that ferries that carry more than 100 passengers could receive subsidies of about
HK$20,000 if they installed the AIS by January next year.
Source URL: http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/1712015/low-wages-and-long-hoursholding-back-sea-safety-hong-kong-ferry
Low wages and long hours holding back sea safety, Hong Kong ferry operator says 2 / 2
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