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Providing more short-term jobs for new colleagues to fill

The Government has launched the Job Creation Scheme under the Anti-epidemic Fund (AEF) to create around 30 000 time-limited jobs in the public and private sectors in the coming two years, thereby providing more job opportunities. Among others, new colleagues are reporting for duty in the Development Bureau (DEVB) and departments under its purview. Here we have two young people who have just joined the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD), Ms HO Tsz-yan, Katherine, and Mr CHAN Chun-wa, Andy, to share why they joined the Government and what they have experienced in the new positions.Creating more than 6 500 short-term jobsIn view of the COVID-19 epidemic, the Government aims to create more short-term jobs to boost the vibrancy of the job market. The DEVB and departments under its purview, such as the EMSD, Drainage Services Department, Civil Engineering and Development Department, Buildings Department and Water Supplies Department, have created a total of more than 6 500 short-term jobs including government positions and those created through procurement of services from consultants or contractors under existing or new contractual arrangements. The jobs cover different trades, skill sets and academic requirements, providing job opportunities for professionals, technicians, backend office staff and fresh graduates. About 3 500 people are expected to report for duty in succession by the end of September.Facing difficulties in finding jobs under the pandemicMs Katherine HO, now the Publicity Officer of the EMSD, was previously an assistant manager in a small and medium enterprise, where she was laid off due to the pandemic. During her unemployment, she sent out about 300 cover letters but received very few replies. She says that, under the influence of the pandemic and the general economic environment, many companies are reluctant to spend money on employing additional staff, making it more difficult for the unemployed to find jobs. She is pleased to have been appointed to the new government position under the AEF. Mr Andy CHAN, who is a fresh graduate this year, shares the same view. He says many companies have stopped recruiting people, and are even laying off employees or imposing wage freezes, so he feels very fortunate to have landed this job as the Publicity Assistant for the EMSD in less than a month after graduation. Thoughtful guidance from supervisors and colleaguesMs Katherine HO studied Leisure Management in university. Currently, she mainly assists her colleagues to handle clerical work and organise workshop. The workshop aims at setting short- term and long-term goals for the EMSD to provide better services for the public. As it is not suitable to have face-to-face meetings due to the pandemic, she is exploring with colleagues the feasibility for the workshop to be held as usual in the format of on-line meetings. Ms Katherine HO says that, without previous related work experience, she was anxious when she first started her job in the engineering/electrical and mechanical field which was thought to be male-dominated. Thanks to the thoughtful guidance from her supervisors and colleagues, she has adapted to her new job quickly.Giving full play to his language abilitiesAs a fresh graduate from the School of English of the University of Hong Kong, Mr Andy CHAN now mainly takes part in editing a handbook on the regulation of railway safety. Presenting the services and operation of the Railways Branch of the EMSD, the handbook enables the public and the trade to have a deeper understanding of the department’s work in monitoring railway safety. As told by Mr Andy CHAN, when he first took up the job, he was worried that his inadequate knowledge of engineering and related technical jargon would affect his performance. However, he later found out that he could make use of his language skills to present the terminologies of engineering in a manner that is both in-depth and easy to comprehend, which would help to improve efficiency at work.Encouraging colleagues to grasp every opportunity to learnEngineer of the EMSD, Mr CHOW Kirk, Peter, says he is glad that the AEF has made it possible for the department to recruit new colleagues to share its heavy workload. The department will do its best to give them every opportunity to understand more about its operation. Also, he hopes that the basic training they receive can become useful in forging their future career. In this difficult period when the pandemic is raging throughout the city, he hopes his new colleagues will not lose heart but will be brave to accept challenges and seek more learning opportunities to build a solid foundation for future development.(The video is broadcasted in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

Get equipped for a career in the maritime industry

Earlier, the Marine Department has invited youngsters to visit the Vessel Traffic Centre (VTC) and Marine Emergency and Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC). Participants were able to acquire knowledge about the traffic of vessels in the Hong Kong port area and maritime technology regarding emergency communication and rescue operation at sea. Having learned about the functions and operations of the Marine Department, they can beef up the plans for their career development in the maritime industry. Let us join them in the exploratory visit. Are you ready? Check out the video for more information! (The video is conducted in Cantonese)

Right Tree, Right Place

When you look at the trees in the street, your attention is often only focused on the tree forms, whether they have beautiful flowers or cause any obstruction to the traffic and pedestrian flow, etc. In fact, you may not realise that the selection of tree species for street planting involves a lot of knowledge as every tree species has its unique “character”, and on top of that, they have to grow in the dense and compact city of Hong Kong. Thus, there are a series of considerations behind the decision.Capability to withstand different roadside conditionsThe Government has been striving to create a quality environment for urban planting to enrich vegetation diversity and enhance the outdoor environs, so as to provide outdoor spaces for public enjoyment. In this connection, the Greening, Landscape, and Tree Management Section (GLTMS) of the Development Bureau (DEVB) commissioned a consultancy study to provide a reference for selecting suitable tree species for different types of streets in Hong Kong. The GLTMS has completed and issued the Street Tree Selection Guide (the Guide). Here we have invited a landscape architect of the DEVB to introduce the details of the Guide and talk about the considerations in selecting tree species for the streets of Hong Kong. Recommendation on vegetation diversity in tree plantingCurrently, there are only around 20 species of trees planted at roadsides in the urban areas of Hong Kong, which account for about half of our urban trees. However, low diversity in the species planted is making our urban forests more vulnerable to outbreaks of pests and diseases and diminishes soil quality, consequently leading to higher maintenance pressure. The DEVB’s Landscape Architect (Greening and Landscape), Mr CHEUNG Ka-wai, Allen, says that the purpose of the Guide is to explore the possibility of planting a greater diversity of species and encourage the planting of suitable native species to improve the resilience of Hong Kong's urban forests through promotion of vegetation diversity under the "right tree, right place" principle, with a view to improving ecological health and minimising tree risks. Simply put, the width of pedestrian paths, soil volume, distribution of underground utilities and pipes, upper ground space, air flow, sunlight, etc. may affect the planting and growth of trees. Also, different tree characteristics such as buttress roots, forms and sizes may affect the selection of suitable planting locations. Therefore, the Guide provides a reference for government departments and industry stakeholders in selecting street tree species.To enable the public to have a better understanding of the tree species introduced in the Guide and the importance of selecting trees with essential attributes suitable for street environments, Mr Allen CHEUNG talks to us about some tree species suitable for street planting. One example is Xanthostemon chrysanthus, also known as Golden Penda. When Golden Penda blooms, the stamens will form a ball shape and the flowers are in bright colours. Its nectar provides food for wild animals. Most importantly, it has essential attributes suitable for the street environments in Hong Kong. For example, it can tolerate roadside pollution, less prone to pests and diseases, and is wind and drought tolerance. Preparing for more frequent extreme weatherTo address the more frequent occurrence of extreme weather conditions due to climate change, and to meet the challenges brought by ageing street trees, we need to make our urban forest more resilient and adaptable to enable sustainable development. Super Typhoon Mangkhut has caused extensive damage to our tree stock when it hit Hong Kong in 2018, but it also opens up opportunity for planting at the same time. After clearing the tree debris, various departments will carefully inspect the extent of damage of the planting sites and related areas. Trees will be replanted only if it is feasible and suitable to do so. To provide a better growing environment for the new trees, the number of trees to be replanted will depend on the sites’ condition. For example, trees will not be replanted on steep slopes (35 degrees or steeper) to safeguard public safety. Besides, departments will not indiscriminately pursue quantity or blindly follow the compensatory planting ratio of 1:1. Furthermore, departments will examine the feasibility of expanding the size of existing tree pits and study the potential of linking the soil volume below the pedestrian paths before replanting trees.Dedicated tree care and maintenanceAfter selecting suitable tree species, we have to make sure that other aspects of planting are also done properly. For example, tree stock quality, planting standards, and the implementation of associated planting works have to be appropriate. Therefore, we encourage landscape designers and departments to widely apply the Guide when replacing and planting street trees.As proper selection of tree species is only the first step and the work that comes afterwards is very important, departments will pay great attention to the maintenance of trees. Through routine maintenance and management, including regular yearly tree risk assessment, timely inspections and appropriate pruning, we can minimise the risks posed by trees to the public and their property. Moreover, our urban forest will grow healthily and sustainably. (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

Air Traffic and You (epi. 2)

Nowadays, leisure or business flight travels have become a part of life for many Hong Kong citizens. The Civil Aviation Department (CAD) has established the “Education Path” since 2013 to enhance public awareness on aviation safety. Through the guided tour services, the exhibition galleries provide the visitors with a formal channel to learn about the development history of the Hong Kong aviation industry, the roles of CAD, relevant airport facilities, airspace planning, air traffic control and aviation safety regulations. It also aims to attract the younger generation and interested ones to join CAD or the local aviation industry. (The video is conducted in Cantonese)

Air Traffic and You (epi. 1)

To provide the public with a better understanding of the service provided by the Civil Aviation Department regarding air traffic control and enactment of aviation safety regulations, equipment at the Air Traffic Control Centre (ATCC) and Control Tower, as well as the cabin and various emergency provisions are on display at the exhibition galleries in the “Education Path”. An Operations Officer is guiding us through the tour with details and fun. (The video is conducted in Cantonese)

DSE Way out: Government job

Q: Does the Government accept HKDSEqualifications for civil service appointments?A: The government has announced that results in the HKDSE Examination are accepted for civil service appointment purposes with effect from 20 July 2012. For related details, please visit the website of the Civil Service Bureau.Q: Does the results in the HKDSE Examination as equivalent to the results in the Common Recruitment Examination (CRE)?A: Level 5 or above in English Language of the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination (HKDSEE) is accepted as equivalent to Level 2 in the UE paper of the CRE.  Level 5 or above in Chinese Language of the HKDSEE is accepted as equivalent to Level 2 in the UC paper of the CRE.  Applicants with the above result(s) will NOT be arranged to take the UE and / or UC paper(s).Level 4 in English Language of the HKDSEE is accepted as equivalent to Level 1 in the UE paper of the CRE.  Level 4 in Chinese Language of the HKDSEE is accepted as equivalent to Level 1 in the UC paper of the CRE.  Applicants with the above result(s) may wish to take this into account in deciding whether they need to take the UE and / or UC paper(s) having regard to the requirements of the civil service post(s) in which they are interested. For related details, please visit the website of the Civil Service Bureau.Q. With the HKDSE in place, what is the acceptance arrangement for civil service posts with entry requirement set at “a pass in five subjects in HKCEE” and "2A3O"?A: Under the NAS, a combination of the following results in five subjects in the HKDSE Examination are accepted as meeting the requirement of “a pass in five subjects in HKCEE”:- Level 2 in Senior Secondary subjects;- “Attained” in Applied Learning (ApL) subjects (subject to a maximum of two ApL subjects); and- Grade E in Other Language subjects. A candidate attaining results in 5 subjects in HKDSE in any combination of the following will be regarded as having met the requirement for “2A3O”:- Level 3 in Senior Secondary subjects;- “Attained with Distinction” in ApL subjects (subject to a maximum of two ApL subjects); and- Grade c in Other Language subjects.For related details, please visit the website of the Civil Service Bureau. >>>Click here to search for a Government jobs now!

Harbor tour by Hong Kong Sea School (II)

In the last episode, we understand more about our future stars of maritime industry. In this episode we will take you to more spots the Harbour Tour has visited and listen to the plans of some other students regarding a career in the industry. (The video is conducted in Cantonese)

First outstanding female apprentice of the Water Supplies Department

To ensure the provision of a reliable and quality water supply service, the frontline work of the Water Supplies Department (WSD) is very crucial and our artisans have played an indispensable role. Since 2015 WSD has run an apprentice training scheme to nurture artisans, recruiting about ten Technician Trainee II (Waterworks) each year and offering them a series of on-the-job training. The first female apprentice under the scheme, Ms KAO Fuk-yee, Koey, received the Outstanding Apprentices Award by the Vocational Training Council, giving the department a shot in the arm for its dedication to training young people to join the industry. Turning to waterworks from business In 2016, at the suggestion of her friend, she, as a fresh graduate from an associate degree in Business, began to reckon that the engineering discipline had good development potential. She decided to give up pursuing a business career and turn to working in waterworks by studying the Basic Craft Course (Plumbing and Pipefitting) offered by the Construction Industry Council. In the same year, she had obtained an offer from the WSD and became its first female apprentice. During the training period, she was enrolling in the Craft Certificate in Plumbing and Pipefitting while undergoing the internship. Upon completion of the apprentice training scheme last year, she was employed by the WSD as an artisan. Practical and professional training During the two-year apprentice training, Koey was assigned to take up internship in various positions within the department, for example, learning the water treatment processes and the corresponding water quality monitoring procedures; learning how to use devices to detect the whereabout of the leakage on water mains in the Water Loss Management Unit; and learning ways to handle public enquiries on water quality and supply in the Customer Services Section. She was also assigned to the Distribution Section to assist in handling emergency water main burst cases. According to Koey, the apprentice training scheme is an eye-opener for her. Currently stationing in the Customer Services Section in Hong Kong and Islands Region, she is mainly responsible for replacing and conducting accuracy tests on aged meters, as well as handling customer enquiries on water quality and supply. She is pleased that the apprentice training has equipped her the skills that she can apply in her job. Strong as men through physical training As the work of artisans is physically demanding, it is a position that has been perceived as one dominated by males. Koey shares with us that it is indeed not easy for females, the physically weaker gender, to pick up a large pipe wrench weighing two to three pounds to install and remove meters, which she also finds difficult at times. To cope with the work, she persists in working out every week and has hit the gym four times a week at her peak to improve body strength. Now she can lift heavy items at ease. She also recalls when she was a newbie, what feared her most was working in some dark, dirty and wet courtyards, but she has got used to it now, which she says with a grin on her face. Tireless efforts of outstanding apprentices Koey believes that, apart from physical fitness, it is very important for artisans to be meticulous and observant. For instance, when inspecting pipes, one must observe carefully for any damaged parts. Whenever she comes across a special case or cases involving various rusting pipes, she will pay extra attention for future reference. In fact, many procedures that require physical strength can now be done with machines. For example, the valves of large-diameter pipes are now controlled electrically by a switch. Therefore, female workers are not put at an obvious disadvantage. However, to become an outstanding apprentice, one has to work extra hard to constantly upgrade oneself, and acquire more knowledge about waterworks through further studies and daily exposure at work, says Koey. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

Advanced technologies to rehabilitate pipes

There are more than 4500 kilometres of underground stormwater drains and sewers across Hong Kong. Many of those in the old districts have been in use for over 30 years. The sewers, in particular, are more prone to ageing and deterioration due to prolonged exposure to corrosive gases brought by sewage. Drainage Services Department (DSD) has gradually rehabilitated the high-risk underground pipes by adopting a pipe repair method that requires no excavation of pipe trenches or road surfaces in order to alleviate inconvenience caused to the public during the works. Gradual rehabilitation of old pipesSerious wear and tear will cause pipe collapse and road subsidence, bringing adverse impact on traffic, environment and public safety. Since 2017, the DSD has initiated comprehensive planning for the phased investigation and rehabilitation of pipes that have been assessed to be of high risk and formulated a territory-wide replacement and rehabilitation programme. However, we have to face a number of challenges in carrying out drainage improvement works in urban areas. Hong Kong is congested not only with people and vehicles, but also with various underground utilities such as gas pipes, communication facilities and water pipes. The traditional “open trench” rehabilitation technology may inevitably affect traffic and residents. The benefit of the new trenchless technology introduced by the DSD in recent years is that pipes can be replaced and rehabilitated without the need to open up an entire road section. Only a temporary shaft is neededAccording to Engineer of the Project Management Division of the DSD, Mr CHEN Ka-yin, the trenchless pipe rehabilitation works only need to excavate a temporary shaft at an individual location to facilitate the insertion of new pipe material into an old pipe to form a new pipe. Under this method, the excavation requires less open space and a shorter duration of works, allowing traffic to resume quickly after the completion of works to minimise impacts to the public. Currently, subject to the damage of the pipes and on-site situations, the DSD mainly employs three trenchless technologies, namely cured-in-place-pipe (CIPP) lining, spirally-wound lining and slip-lining. CIPP lining technologyAccording to Mr CHEN Ka-yin, under the CIPP lining technology (that is commonly referred to as the “insertion into pig intestines” in Chinese), a soft polyester liner with a thickness of 10 to 40 millimetres is pulled into the host pipe through a “launch shaft”. The liner is then expanded and cured by steam or hot water until it hardens and forms a new pipe. This technology can be used on pipes under dry condition. In rehabilitating trunk sewers that still has water flow, we have to employ the spirally-wound lining technology instead. In this technique, a special winding machine is placed inside the pipeline to helically wind steel-reinforced polyethylene strips into circular shape to form a new pipe in the original pipe. Alternatively, the slip-lining method can also be used. As both methods are designed for the rehabilitation of running pipes, no interception is required. Slip-lining methodStanding at the construction site on Bailey Street in To Kwa Wan, Mr CHEN Ka-yin introduces the use of the slip-lining method at the site. First, a temporary shaft will be set up at an appropriate location. Part of the old pipeline will then be cut and exposed. After cleaning and inspection of the pipe, a 1.5-metre long fibreglass plastic liner will be pushed into the old or damaged pipe section by section. Then, with cement slurry filling the gap between the new and the old pipelines, a new pipe is formed. He points out that although a fibreglass plastic liner looks relatively thin, its structural strength is equal to that of a concrete pipe and its lifespan is up to 40 to 50 years. Planning for stage 2 worksAs the rehabilitation works of all stormwater drains and sewers in Hong Kong involves 18 districts, over the course of four months, colleagues of the DSD visited each of the districts to consult the relevant District Council committees and explain project details to stakeholders, so as to give an early start to the projects. Stage 1 works had begun and are scheduled for completion in 2022. Stage 2 works are scheduled to start in 2020 to conduct condition survey and rehabilitation of stormwater drains and sewers in six districts, including Tsuen Wan, Sham Shui Po and Yau Tsim Mong. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

Mountain bike trails in South Lantau

During weekends, many people like to go cycling with their friends. But are you cyclists interested in cycling on rugged hilly terrains, dirt roads or even gravel paths? Currently, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department has set up 15 designated mountain bike trails in country parks for mountain biking activities, three of which are located in south Lantau. One of the largest training grounds in Asia The CEDD has implemented improvement and expansion works for the mountain bike trail networks in south Lantau in phases. Chief Engineer of the Sustainable Lantau Office (SLO), Ms LAU Yiu-yan, Joyce, said that the first phase of the works aims mainly to improve the existing sections from Pui O to Kau Ling Chung and Chi Ma Wan for safer and better riding experience through strengthened control of soil erosion. The second phase of the works focuses on the construction of a new mountain bike training ground of about 4.5 hectares near Lai Chi Yuen Tsuen, which will become one of the largest training grounds in the Asian region, and on the expansion of several trails at the Mui Wo and Chi Ma Wan sections to form a circular network. Providing trails of different riding difficulties We found at the site that the construction of the training ground was nearing completion. Engineer of the SLO, Mr PANG Siu-tuen, Walter, said that the training ground provides trails of different riding difficulties for beginner, intermediate and advanced cyclists. Beginners can start with undulating trails, and then progress to a narrow skinny that allows only one bike to go through at a time. Different facilities cater for different levels of riders. To add more fun to the trails, the training ground was specially built with trails of different technical features, including berms, jumps, rock garden, switchback turns and pump tracks. For that purpose, the CEDD had specially invited an expert rider to help with the design. The Singaporean trail specialist of the International Mountain Bicycling Association, Mr H.M. LIM, gave live demonstrations and explained that trails of different challenging levels and features are normally designed to suit the actual site conditions. During construction, the design team had tried a range of options while developing different trails. Sustainable project design The Engineer, Mr Walter PANG, said that as the mountain bike trails in south Lantau fall within the country park area, their designs are all in line with the sustainable construction principle. For instance, the alignment has been designed to follow the terrains to avoid tree felling as far as possible so as to retain the original look of the country park; natural materials that are locally available have been used in projects such as the rock garden in the training ground that were laid with rocks collected from construction sites; hand tools or small machines have been used to avoid causing environmental damage, etc. In addition, as the tiny Romer’s tree frogs, a species unique to Hong Kong, were found on the site during construction, the original gathering place for riders was redesigned and relocated somewhere far away from the tree frogs. Furthermore, our colleagues have considered ways to extend the life cycle of the trails and reduce their need for maintenance. For instance, crossfall has been used as far as possible to drain away the surface runoff, and crushed stones have been placed at suitable locations to improve drainage performance, which will in turn prevent soil erosion and safeguard the users of mountain bike trails. Promoting healthy living The training ground has been already opened to the public. With its opening, the training ground will not only host training for beginners, but also provide mountain bike trails that meet the international standard for holding competition events, which can help nurture more local bikers and promote the development of mountain biking in Hong Kong. Hope that the novice, expert and enthusiastic riders will all make good use of the new training ground and the existing mountain bike trails in south Lantau, and enjoy the fun of mountain biking while taking pleasure in the beautiful, natural scenery of the country park. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

Harbor tour by Hong Kong Sea School (I)

A Harbour Tour was arranged by the Marine Department for the “All-rounded Learning Week” held by Hong Kong Sea School. Wong, Marine Inspector II, explained to the participating students the Department’s daily work of managing the ports and relevant port facilities. Many students showed interest in joining the maritime industry. Take a look at the first video episode for places the Harbour Tour visited and the dreams of the students. (The video is conducted in Cantonese)

Father's Day Series: Assistant Electrical Inspector Mr CHUI Chi-kit of the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department

Here we have another frontline colleague, Mr CHUI Chi-kit, also a good father, who works behind the scenes in our bustling airport. Mr CHUI is an Assistant Electrical Inspector of the Airfield Facilities Section of the Airport and Vehicle Engineering Division (AVED) under the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD), who is responsible for the maintenance and repair of landing and runway lights at the Hong Kong International Airport. He performs shift duty around the clock to ensure the proper functioning of the lighting systems, which are extremely important to aircrafts during takeoff and landing. Racing against time to complete the mission Starting out as a technician apprentice of EMSD, Mr CHUI Chi-kit graduated in 1999. He has rich E&M knowledge and skills and has worked at the airport for more than ten years. He said that there are currently 13,000 landing and runway lights on the airport runways, taxiways and aprons, which provide visual aid critical for pilots to take off and land with a clear vision of the runways at night and during periods of low visibility and inclement weather conditions. He and his colleagues work shifts around the clock to ensure the facilities are functioning properly. Their prompt action is needed to fix the problems immediately and they will lose no time in handling emergency situations, even in the small hours of the morning or in rainstorms. Given the very frequent flight movements, they have to race against time to complete their work on the runways in a very short time. While they quickly carry out inspections and repairs, they also need to pay attention to the radio instructions given by the control tower to ensure that the on-site environment is safe to work in. It is all about personal experience, concentration and co-operation among colleagues. Mr CHUI recalled that when Typhoon Hato hit Hong Kong last year bringing strong winds and heavy rains, outdoor facilities were more likely to break down than usual. Under the circumstances, he and his colleagues, along with staff of the AA, had to carry out their work dutifully and be ready to handle all kinds of emergency incidents anytime. They are also aware of the importance of safety at work in times of inclement weather. Mr CHUI said that the department has provided them with guidelines on work safety. They will receive thunderstorm and lightning alerts and there are safe areas at the aprons for the maintenance personnel to take temporary shelter to ensure the safety of frontline staff. Saying "No" to being a "helicopter parent" As a young father, Mr CHUI admitted that he is still at the learning stage. As he works irregular hours, he treasures every moment he spends with his son on his days off. His son is only four years old, but Mr CHUI hopes that he will, as a grown-up, understand some basic moral principles, such as having a sense of responsibility towards self and others, as well as working hard at school and at work. He said that he has no intention of becoming a "helicopter parent" and does not want to put his son under too much pressure. Having said that, he sets a high standard for his son’s character, hoping to teach him good virtues and politeness at an early age. He would like to be his son's "close friend" and solve problems together with him on his life journey. The E&M industry offers myriad career choices. As fate has put him to work in the airport, Mr CHUI particularly feels the great responsibility of his work as it is related to aviation safety. Whenever he travels with his family by air, he especially tells his son about his work at the airport and hopes that he will develop a keen interest in aeroplanes and airports unconsciously. Keen demand for E&M talent E&M facilities are found throughout Hong Kong and are closely related to our daily lives. In addition, the development of large-scale infrastructure as well as housing and railway projects also helps the E&M industry grow steadily with a keen demand for E&M talent. Since the launch of the "Apprentice Training Scheme" (now named "Technician Training Scheme") in 1955, EMSD has successfully nurtured more than 6,000 professional technicians. Among them, many have become professionals or been promoted to the management level through continuous education and accumulation of work experience. Mr CHUI is one of the examples. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese) . (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

Father’s Day Series: Drain Chargeman Mr KOO Wai-ming of the Drainage Services Department

As Father’s Day is approaching, we would like to share with you a frontline worker and his little story as a father, so as to show our support for all good dads. Mr KOO Wai-ming has worked in the DSD for over three decades.  Starting out as a Workman II, he was promoted to Drain Chargeman 10 years ago.  He is not only a senior staff member in our department with total dedication, but also a guardian angel for his child. Currently, the DSD has 11 teams under the Direct Labour Force for clearing blocked drains, each with four to five Leading Sewermen or Workmen II led by a Drain Chargeman to discharge their duties.  More than clearing blocked drains Sharing his job experience, Mr KOO said that when an Amber/Red/Black rainstorm warning or a typhoon signal is hoisted, the DSD colleagues have to remain on standby on a rotational basis, 24 hours a day, at the Emergency Co-ordination Centre (ECC) to receive and handle public requests for assistance.  The frontline staff, once alerted by the ECC, will rush to the scene across the territory.  Upon arriving at the scene, the DSD workers will first use devices to test for any poisonous or explosive gas before opening manholes.  After that, they will desilt the blocked drains with rattan strips or high-pressure water jets. Handling emergency cases with a clear head Talking about his most memorable experience, Mr KOO recalled that he had once received an urgent request from a member of the public.  Arriving at the scene, he found the female caller emotionally unstable.  He did his best to comfort the lady, while at the same time he had to take prompt action with his colleagues to solve the blockage problem.  He later realised that the lady, being a new mother, had made incessant phone calls simply because she was worried that the foul water would affect her baby.  The incident tells him that there are always reasons behind the requests for assistance or complaints from the public or those in need, and therefore they should help them solve their problems as fast as possible with a positive attitude. A tough man’s tender love for his son Besides his work, our tough man Mr KOO also shared with us his family life.  When he talked about his family and his love for his son, his sentimental side shone through.  He has a 12-year-old son.  As he works shifts, he sometimes has to work on Saturdays and Sundays.  Whenever there is an emergency, he is required to go on duty at all hours and even has to work overnight.  At times, his son complains that he is often not at home.  As a father, he can only explain to his son with patience that his work is to serve the community and there is a public need for his service.  He hopes that his son will understand better as he grows up.  In the past, he read his son stories.  In the blink of an eye, his son will soon become a Secondary One student and the way they get along has changed a lot.  One thing is certain, however, he just cannot be too strict with his son and they need to communicate as friends to maintain their bonds. The name of Mr KOO’s son, KOO Chung-hang, carries a special meaning.  Mr KOO believes that all parents have expectations of their children.  He said the name he picked for his son comes from Confucius, whose second name is Zhongni (Chung-nei in Cantonese), with “Chung” meaning integrity.  Although he does not expect his son to have great achievements, he hopes his son will be a good, virtuous and righteous man.  Regarding his son’s future occupation, he said it will be up to his son. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

Drainage Services Department's remote-controlled desilting robot

In Hong Kong, the rainy season generally starts in April. In order to further reduce flood risks during rainstorms, the Drainage Services Department (DSD) has introduced the “just-in-time clearance” arrangement this year. It has also adopted new technologies in using a new remote-controlled desilting robot for silt clearing works at box culverts to enhance the efficiency of desilting works. Preventing silt accumulation from affecting the drainage capacityHong Kong faces an average rainfall of about 2 400 millimetres a year, one of the highest among cities in the Pacific Rim. According to Mr POON Tin-yau, an engineer of the DSD, when stormwater is discharged into the sea through box culverts, the washed-off sand, stones and dust will accumulate gradually at the drains to form silt, which will in turn affect the drainage capacity and may lead to flooding in the most serious cases. To avoid the above situation, the department inspects the box culverts on a regular basis and arranges the desilting works if necessary to ensure that the drains are functioning properly. Operating as a vacuum cleanerEarly this year, a new remote-controlled desilting robot was introduced into the DSD. The DSD conducted a pilot test on the use of the robot for desilting works at the box culverts in Sham Shui Po and Tsuen Wan with its functions monitored. The robot will be lifted up with a crane and sent into the box culvert concerned through its opening. With the help of closed-circuit television and sonic survey, the operator can then observe the conditions inside the box culvert and remotely operate the robot for desilting from his workstation. Mr POON Tin-yau says that the robot, measuring approximately 3 metres in length, and 1.5 metres in both width and height, works similarly to a vacuum cleaner. Once the silt is sucked by the robot, it will be pumped to a temporary silt container on the ground through a tube connected to the robot. The silt will be transported to a landfill only after dewatering. Enhancing work safetyAccording to the traditional desilting method, workers need to go into the box culverts for installation and operation of desilting devices. Given that box culverts are confined spaces, workers working inside will face certain safety risks. The traditional method also requires interception of water flow in the culverts to allow workers to work in an environment without water flowing through, which means the work is limited mostly to dry seasons. On the contrary, the remote-controlled desilting robot can take over diving tasks to spare workers from going into confined and submerged space of the box culverts. Apart from enhancing work safety, the use of the robot allows desilting works in rainy seasons, which in turn will expedite the progress of such works, lower the costs and significantly improve the desilting efficiency. Implementation of the “just-in-time clearance” arrangementFurthermore, the DSD had analysed more than 200 flooding cases between 2017 and 2019, finding that more than 60 percent of them were due to blockage of drains by litter, fallen leaves or other washouts carried by surface runoff. This year, the department will implement the “just-in-time clearance” arrangement. Before the onset of a rainstorm, staff will be deployed to inspect about 200 drain locations in the territory which are susceptible to blockage by litter, fallen leaves or the like, and will immediately arrange for clearance if necessary. The department will also send staff to inspect and clear all major drainage intakes and river channels to prevent blockage after a rainstorm or when a typhoon signal is about to be lowered so as to prepare for the challenges of further rainstorms. Constructing more underground stormwater storage tanksApart from strengthening the responsive management measures before and after rainstorms, the DSD will continue to press ahead with its flood prevention strategy, which includes constructing more underground stormwater storage tanks to collect and temporarily store excessive rainwater during rainstorms, thus reducing the loading at downstream drains and the consequential flood risks. At present, six locations are under planning, including Shek Kip Mei Park, Tai Hang Tung Recreation Ground (extension), the Urban Council Centenary Garden in Tsim Sha Tsui, as well as Sau Nga Road Playground, Kwun Tong Ferry Pier Square and Hoi Bun Road Park in Kwun Tong District. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

Enhancement of legal aid services through innovative use of information technology (Legal Aid Department)

The Legal Aid Department (LAD) commits to providing quality customer-oriented legal aid services. Aiming to improve service efficiency and provide prompt response to customers, LAD has developed new online services with the latest information technology to keep legal aid services abreast of the times. Service 1: EFFECTIVE USE OF QR CODES The pamphlet entitled How Your Financial Resources & Contribution are Calculated published by LAD contains calculation examples of different scenarios. However, as the rates of personal allowances and financial eligibility limits for legal aid are adjusted oftentimes, the calculation examples in the pamphlet require frequent updates, which are effort and time demanding but ephemeral. Resources were squandered consequently. To resolve the difficulty, LAD has added in the pamphlet relevant QR codes, through which members of the public can access the latest calculation examples on LAD’s website. When there is any adjustment to the calculation examples, it is necessary to update only the information on the website but not the pamphlet. Not only does this help protect the environment, but printing costs and staff resources could also be saved. Service 2:  MOBILE VERSION OF MEANS TEST CALCULATOR Since means assessment involves many factors concerning a legal aid applicant, LAD introduced in December 2008 an online Means Test Calculator, which provides a convenient way for members of the public to find out whether they are likely to be eligible for legal aid on means. The mobile version of the Means Test Calculator was subsequently introduced for easy access by mobile devices anytime anywhere. Service 3: ENHANCING SERVICES BY INSTANT TRANSLATION SYSTEM To overcome the language barrier faced by people of diverse race in making legal aid applications and the shortage of interpreters, LAD has developed an instant translation system, which can display and read out questions in languages commonly used by people of diverse race. The system also connects to an online translation programme which can translate the answers provided by legal aid applicants of diverse race in their own languages into English. LAD staff may then identify and provide suitable information to them to facilitate their legal aid applications. (For more details, please visit Sevice Excellence Website)

Training beyond innovation (Electrical and Mechanical Services Department)

To support the implementation of this policy by various divisions, the Training Unit of the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) has taken the lead to apply I&T in its core training and enhanced the Technician Training Scheme to cultivate young professional teams with international vision, thereby injecting new blood into the E&M trade so as to tie in with the Government’s policy objective of building a smart city and developing I&T. IMPROVING TRAINING EFFECTIVENESS WITH I&T EMSD has converted a workshop in its headquarters building into a new digitalised Interactive Learning Centre in four months. Holographic images and three-dimensional projection technology are used to present to trainees the E&M equipment in buildings in great detail, which facilitates their clear understanding of the equipment’s structure and improves training efficiency. Moreover, the Department has tailor-designed various virtual reality training facilities, which not only enhance the flexibility, safety and coverage of training activities, but also significantly reduce the consumption of physical materials to achieve environmental benefits. JOINT TALENT TRAINING WITH THE TRADE To address the problem of an ageing workforce and manpower shortage in the E&M trade, EMSD enhanced its Technician Training Scheme, under which 100 places are added every year to nurture more young trainees so as to meet the needs arising from the digitalisation development. The Department has also collaborated with the trade and arranged for trainees to undergo internship in private organisations. Their performance has won recognition from the trade. Not only does this arrangement enrich the work experience of trainees, but it also helps solve the problem of manpower shortage in those organisations, a win-win for all. BROADENING INTERNATIONAL HORIZONS THROUGH TRAINING In order to enhance the skills of trainees and promote learning and exchange between young people in Hong Kong and Guangzhou, EMSD has signed the Memorandum of Co-operation on E&M Talent Development with the Guangzhou Municipal Human Resources and Social Security Bureau to train E&M talents for both cities and upgrade their skills as a whole. To broaden the international horizons of trainees, the Department encouraged them to participate in the biennial WorldSkills Competition. Two EMSD trainees who took part in the “Electrical Installations” and “Refrigeration and Air-conditioning” trades won in the WorldSkills Hong Kong and went on to represent Hong Kong in the WorldSkills Competition held in Kazan, Russia in August 2019. Coached by expert trainers, both trainees won Medallions for Excellence in the Competition, bringing glory to Hong Kong while proving that the technical skills of Hong Kong’s E&M personnel have attained international standards. (The video is conducted in Cantonese) (For more details, please visit Sevice Excellence Website)

Mother's Day Series: Senior Engineer Ms LAM Sze-mei, Janet, of the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department

Here we would like to introduce another colleague from the government and also a good mother, Ms LAM Sze-mei, Janet. As a Senior Electrical and Mechanical Engineer of the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD), she is responsible for leading more than 200 colleagues of Hong Kong Island to carry out maintenance and repair of electrical and mechanical (E&M) facilities in government buildings. She also performs standby duty around the clock to handle emergency incidents. She is going to share with us her daily work and her own feelings as a working mum. Maintenance for “Ventilation, Fire, Water and Electricity” Janet joined the EMSD as an Engineering Graduate in 1997 and has served the department for more than 20 years. Currently, she is responsible for leading her colleagues to maintain and repair the E&M facilities that are commonly known as facilities of “Ventilation, Fire, Water and Electricity”, i.e. the air-conditioning system, fire service installations, water supply system and electrical systems, inside government buildings on Hong Kong Island. For example, they provide routine repair services, carry out periodic inspection and testing, follow up on malfunction and complaint cases, and implement improvement and enhancement works. The buildings under their purview include the Central Government Offices at Tamar, the Justice Place in Central, the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal and the three buildings at the Wan Chai Government Offices Compound, etc. Operation of real-time remote monitoring system Janet says that in recent years, the EMSD has strived to introduce advanced technology to optimise the performance of E&M systems in government buildings so as to enhance the efficiency of repair and maintenance works. One example is the implementation of a pilot project by installing the integrated Building Management System for E&M facilities of different government departments, which enables the integration of electrical, mechanical, air-conditioning and building services systems into a single platform. This allows colleagues of the EMSD to be able to remotely monitor the operation of E&M facilities in real time anywhere through an online platform. In case if any deviation from the design parameters and particular circumstances is identified, staff will be immediately deployed to follow up so as to ensure predictive maintenance is accomplished at an early stage to prevent potential failure. Enhancing energy efficiency Besides, Janet says that the above system can also work with the Building Energy Management System to collect and store building energy data, such as the efficiency, electricity consumption and carbon emission of E&M facilities. In this manner, colleagues can analyse and assist various departments to formulate the most appropriate energy optimisation strategies to save energy costs and attain the targets of energy saving and emission reduction. Recently, the department has undertaken related work at the North Point Government Offices, resulting in reduction of the electricity consumption of the building by 3 to 5%. To further enhance energy efficiency, the EMSD plans to install relevant systems to the E&M facilities of more than 400 major government buildings under the Electrical and Mechanical Services Trading Fund – The 2nd 5-year Strategic Plan (i.e., from 2018/19 to 2022/23). Unforgettable experience: Typhoon Mangkhut hitting Hong Kong Talking about unforgettable experiences in her career, Janet recalls what happened when Typhoon Mangkhut hit Hong Kong. Although her team had taken proper precautionary measures for E&M facilities in government buildings beforehand, the typhoon was so fierce that her mobile phone became inundated with group chat messages from frontline staff deployed at different locations, all reporting emergency situations to her during the typhoon. Janet describes that she felt like fighting a battle of one versus one hundred when dealing with those phone messages. While worrying about the safety of her workmates, she had to make immediate decisions to handle unexpected incidents. According to Janet, strong waves flooded the switch room in the Government Logistics Centre near Heng Fa Chuen at that time. With the series of contingency measures, such as pre-checking of circuit diagram information for emergency repairs, emergency preparations made with the power company, and backup power arrangement, having been drawn up by her team beforehand, the building was able to resume 90% of its operations immediately after the typhoon had passed. After Mangkhut, the department, in collaboration with the Architectural Services Department, identified another location as the entrance/exit of the switch room to prevent similar flooding incidents in the future. Besides, a remote monitoring system for the switch room and a remote switch control system for the emergency generator are in the pipeline. Teaching daughter to pursue dreams Janet feels the pressure of being a working mother because of her hectic work life. She also feels sorry for her daughter who has just entered secondary school. Therefore, she tries her best to spend the weekends with her daughter and travels with her family during long holidays so that they can enjoy family life together. She smilingly says that she has certain expectations for her daughter, but luckily she is not much of a “tiger mom” in her daughter’s eyes. As her daughter has had many dreams ever since an early age, Janet hopes to focus her parenting on teaching her daughter about the pursuit of dreams, so that she can find her path to happiness, enjoy learning and foster good character. Janet says that her daughter had always wanted to learn horse riding, so she arranged a riding course for her two years ago. Sometimes she is heartbroken to see her daughter fall off from the horseback, but she is pleased that her daughter is able to get up after a fall and ride back on, knowing that she can overcome difficulties and pain all by herself. No matter what her daughter does in the future, Janet hopes that she will have the courage to overcome any obstacles, look afar and jump even further. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

Mother's Day Series: Geotechnical Engineer Ms TING Sui-man

Here we would like to introduce to you a colleague from the government who is also a good mother, Ms TING Sui-man. Ms TING Sui-man, joined the Geotechnical Engineering Office (GEO) of the Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD) as Geotechnical Engineer back in 2011. She has worked in two different divisions, both of which are related to landslide emergency services. A petite and cheerful lady, Ms TING is “Ting Ting” to her colleagues. Coordinating Landslide Emergency Services Currently, Ms TING is mainly responsible for assisting in the coordination of the GEO’s landslide emergency services. With over 200 geotechnical engineers and technical officers working shifts, the GEO provides 24-hour emergency services all year round to give geotechnical advice to government departments on contingency actions to be taken in case of danger arising from landslides. The GEO will, among others, assess the situation at scene and advise whether closure of roads, evacuation of residents from the affected buildings, and urgent repair works should be implemented. When a landslip warning or typhoon signal number 8 or above has been issued by the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO), the GEO’s Emergency Control Centre (ECC) in the Civil Engineering and Development Building at Homantin will be activated to handle landslide incidents, safeguard public safety, and assist government departments to restore public facilities affected by the incidents. Ms TING is responsible for the coordination of various supporting activities, such as deployment of staff to work shifts, ensuring the proper functioning of equipment and helping in the dispatch of geotechnical engineers to the landslide scenes as soon as possible for assessment. Therefore, she must be prepared to start her work anytime during the entire rainy season. Furthermore, she is also responsible for the arrangement of training on landslide emergency services for colleagues. As a matter of fact, the GEO has introduced virtual reality environment for such training this year. Climbing mountains and wading rivers under the scourging sun and in the rain Having been a geotechnical engineer for years, for a period of time in her career, Ms TING had to make a long and difficult journey to work in some remote areas. Her first position in the GEO was to operate the Landslip Warning System and manage the raingauges operated by the GEO. There are about 90 GEO automatic raingauges all over Hong Kong, with some located in places as far as Fan Lau in Lantau Island, Po Toi Island and Tap Mun. As decisions on whether to issue a landslip warning are made jointly by the HKO and GEO with reference to data collected from raingauges and other information, Ms TING and technical officers have to build and repair raingauges under the scourging sun or in the rain from time to time. This is not an easy task according to Ms TING.Motivation comes from her children A mother of a son and a daughter, Ms TING admits that she is inevitably feeling stressed as she has to fulfil the heavy commitments of both work and family life, which includes meeting her children’s education needs. That said, her children are her biggest motivation. After a day of work, her son would offer his arm for her head to rest on, while her daughter would say she is looking for a book named “100 ways to be happy” to cheer her up. Ms TING says that she does not want to be a “monster mom”, so she would never require her children to be at the top of the class, or to participate in too many talent training programmes. She wants them to be able to grow up in a relaxed and happy environment. Smilingly, she says that some of her fondest moments are seeing her children coming back from school, sweating a lot with dishevelled hair, showing that they must have had a good day at school. However, she does have a certain level of expectation on her children’s moral values, especially as our society is so full of temptations. She hopes that her children will “keep a moral compass”, whereby they can distinguish right from wrong and know what should or should not be done. She believes that by having the right thoughts, taking the right action and saying the right words, they will lead a life of abundance and success.To maintain public safety, they need to remain unfazed and always get prepared to offer emergency service in times of inclement weather. On top of that, they are also shouldering family responsibilities. We hope that everyone will continue to provide unlimited support and encouragement for all the hard-working, good mothers on earth, whether it is Mother’s Day or not. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

Boosts employment by increasing temporary jobs (Development Bureau)

The Chief Executive has announced earlier a series of measures on job retention, job creation and job advancement under the Anti-epidemic Fund. It is suggested to create around 30000 time-limited jobs in the public and private sectors in the coming two years to reduce unemployment, the situation of which has been worsened owing to the COVID-19 epidemic. The Development Bureau and departments under it are taking proactive actions to facilitate and implement these measures by providing about 4700 temporary jobs of a wide variety in the times to come. Provide 4700 temporary jobs These temporary jobs cover various areas and people with different skills and academic qualifications, including professionals and technical and back-office support officers, will be eligible. Fresh graduates can also apply for internship programmes on building surveying, urban planning, estate surveying, land surveying and engineering, etc. Of the 4700 new job openings, more than 530 are provided by the government while 4100 and more are openings from private organisations. Some of the job openings will be in place in three months progressively. Digitailise the E&M assets Among these openings, the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department plans to recruit 1200 temporary staff with service terms of up to 18 months. Half of the employees will be responsible for cleaning electrical and mechanical (E&M) systems at several thousand governmental buildings, while the other half will assist in the digitalization of E&M assets. Inspect drainage pipes Besides, the Buildings Department will appoint consultancy firms to inspect drainage pipes at the external walls of over 20000 targeted private domestic and composite buildings in Hong Kong. The appointed firms will have to recruit extra manpower and hence are expected to create more than 400 job openings. Improve buildings safety The Buildings Department will also recruit 120 short-term staff whose job duties include: speeding up the processing of drainage repair order yet to be complied with and cases of misconnection of drainage; organising public educational and promotional activities, etc. Amid the COVID-19 epidemic, the government aims to add momentum to the labour market by increasing short-term job openings for people from all walks of life, from professionals, technical and supporting officers to fresh graduates. (The video is narrated in Cantonese) (The video is provided by the Development Bureau)

A thrilling moment but a timely rescue: the Fire Service Department

At 2 pm, Mar 28, Po Lam Fire Station received a special service call. It was suspected that somebody was trapped at height. Like a knight from heaven, a senior fireman courageously carried out the duty, held the subject for 6 minutes and pulled him out of harm’s way. What is the drive behind their perseverance? The reporter at news.gov.hk leads you into the fire station and talks with the firemen… (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese)

EMSD devoted to fighting the epidemic with joint efforts

Amid the COVID-19 epidemic, the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) has actively participated in carrying out preventive work, particularly the sterilization of ambulances under the Fire Service Department.   Demonstrating a great team spirit, EMSD provides assistance to various departments to combat the virus using innovative technology. Examples include installation of thermal detection devices in different governmental venues, especially in places where people gather, for detection of fever, and stepping up of the cleaning and sterilization of air-conditioning systems. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese)

Customs and Excise Department: We hear you, we stand by you

As the COVID-19 epidemic continues, many customs officers, with the support of their families, volunteer to take part in conducting preventive measures. The volunteers, who are assigned to work in a three-shift roster in 24 hours, are responsible for registration, distributing resources and providing care to people under quarantine.As the volunteers say, while their experiences of serving tourists at the boarders can be applied at the quarantine centres, they can also be a listener of the quarantined. Every member of the team is proudly contributing to fighting against the virus. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese)

【Stronger Together HK - Cheung Ho-ching, Civil Aid Service】

Pulled down to the depths of the valley, one would ask ‘What’s next?’ Ask the Civil Aid Service’s Cheung Ho-ching and he would tell you, “we will bounce right back, as long as the people of Hong Kong stick together”. CAS is an auxiliary emergency service. Cheung himself is a volunteer working at the Jao Tsung-I Academy quarantine centre, helping the Duty Officer with the centre’s daily operations. Cheung told us that all the volunteers there, while mindful, are not bogged down by fears of infection. The volunteers just want to contribute, play a part and do a little something to help. Forever an optimist, Cheung is not overly bothered about the adverse impact of the epidemic. Rather, he is heartened by the selflessness and compassion of Hong Kong people during such trying times. Unsolicited, many go out of their way to co-ordinate donations, distribute and hand out face masks, hand sanitisers...  He can’t help being impressed. Our hats off to our volunteers! Our thanks to each of you who join us in the fight against the virus!  

【Stronger Together HK - Chan Lok-sum, Country Parks Ranger】

Yes, we may now be down at the bottom of the valley. However, if we slowly make our ascent, one step at a time, we can reach the peak. And from up there, we will re-discover Hong Kong, in all its glory and splendour.According to Country Parks Ranger Chan Lok-sum, there has been a considerable jump in the number of hikers recently, all in search of more space and fresh air. Many however left behind them litter like used tissues and face masks. Ms Chan would love to see fewer litter bugs, if only hikers were more conscientious when disposing their own litter.Probably due to the SARS experience, people in Hong Kong are very disciplined in maintaining personal hygiene. Wearing masks is a norm, so is sharing hygiene essentials with friends in need. Such mutual help and care make Hong Kong a beautiful place to live in.  

【Stronger Together HK - Postman Lee Wah】

Hey Mr Postman, how's your day? And how has work been lately?As soon as the epidemic broke out, overseas postal packages started flooding in. Many of them are top of our “most wanted” list — face masks and sanitation products.Our postmen may not be in the war trenches so to speak, but delivering these packages is nonetheless a matter of great urgency too. To ensure their timely delivery to the right hands, many postmen volunteer to stay behind after work to make this happen.Yes, whoever we are, everyone has a role to play and every role is equally important. Credit is not what we are looking for. We are looking for the smile behind every mask. As Postman Lee Wah said, "If everyone does his or her part, the pandemic will be over in no time.” Let’s thank all colleagues who stand by their posts and give their best to overcome this challenge, as well as all of you who help by maintaining social distance.  

【Stronger Together HK - Senior Immigration Officer Mickie Choi】

As the first rescue team member to arrive in Japan, Senior Immigration Officer, Mickie Choi, never for once claimed to be selfless. He, in a matter-of-fact way, described his work in Yokohama as a duty. “Someone has to take this up. Once I was assigned to it, I had got to give my very best and accomplish the mission,” said he.Mickie arrived in Yokohama on February 4. Series of negotiations and preparations followed. When he eventually welcomed ashore the passengers, Choi could not help getting a little emotional. Mission accomplished, yes, but not without concerns. Upon returning home, he had to confine himself temporarily to the living room couch. He, however, hastened to add: “What I did was nothing compared to the selfless dedication of our frontline health workers. I would in fact like to take this opportunity to thank every one of them. I also wish for Hong Kongers to come together; that all can play a part, however small, to overcome this challenge.”We are thankful to those who have helped bring home our residents, to those fighting this pandemic, and to those maintaining social distance!  

【Stronger Together HK - Dr Chan Po-ling】

It has not been easy holding the first line of defence. Hats off to health workers who are engaged in combat, on the firing line, day after day.In seeking to protect patients and themselves at the same time, Dr. Chan Po Ling felt that coping with mental pressures was the most difficult part.While taking off her white coat after work each time, Dr. Chan would ask herself “Should I head home tonight?"“Would being home affect my loved ones?”“Should I rather stay in a hotel or hostel until the pandemic is over?” After all, the well-being of the family is on top of everyone’s mind.Indeed, medical workers are not lone soldiers in the battle. Look at the supporting staff, helpers, and cleaning ladies. They are all in this together. Nobody has the crowning glory. It is shared by each and everyone who is making a contribution to the fight against the coronavirus, one way or the other.Our appreciation goes to all medical workers and supporting staff, not to mention contributors from other sectors, including citizens who chip in by maintaining social distancing – every metre helps!  

【Stronger Together HK - Ambulanceman Siu Man-chun】

As an ambulanceman, duty beckons to serve patients with all sorts of injuries and illnesses. Ambulanceman Siu Man-chun is always prepared for the worst.But then, never mind how well prepared one may be, working mostly on the frontline has its concerns.  Siu says he is often bothered by fears of infection, and worse still, transmitting it to family and friends. Worries are there, always.Nonetheless, Siu is fully committed to serving Hong Kong, the home to which he belongs and to which he owes his allegiance.Our appreciation goes to all medical workers and supporting staff, not forgetting contributors from other sectors, including citizens who chip in by maintaining social distancing.  

Government Job Opportunities for Non-Ethnic Chinese

(Please click here to watch the same video narrated in English) Assistant Primary School Mistress, Miss Amypreet Kaur, "I know that applicants for civil service posts at degree or professional level are required to attain specific results in the Common Recruitment Examination (CRE). At first, I was worried that my Chinese reading and writing abilities would not be sufficient for me to obtain the necessary result in the Use of Chinese paper. After two attempts, I successfully obtained “Level 2” result. I am glad that my efforts in preparing for the exam paid off." "Why don’t you give it a try like me and apply for a government job?" Please watch the video for more information about the Government measures to facilitate the employment of non-ethnic Chinese in the civil service. Official recruitment page

Job Corner for Non-Ethnic Chinese

Non-ethnic Chinese have equal access to government job opportunities Appointment to the civil service is based on the principle of open and fair competition.  All candidates are assessed on the basis of their ability, performance and character, and having regard to the stipulated entry requirements set according to the job requirements of the grade concerned. Heads of Department / Grade, having regard to the job requirements of the grades under their respective purview, specify appropriate Chinese and English language proficiency requirements (LPRs) as part of the entry requirements for the grades concerned.  This arrangement is in line with the guidance of the Equal Opportunities Commission issued in accordance with the Race Discrimination Ordinance.  It is Government policy to ensure the Chinese and English LPRs for all the grades of the civil service are no more than necessary for performance of the job, so that Non-ethnic Chinese, like other applicants, have equal access to government job opportunities.   Language Proficiency Requirements for Civil Service Jobs Latest Civil Service Vacancies with Lowered / Relatively Lower Language Proficiency Requirements Stories of Non-ethnic Chinese Civil Servants Useful Links   Language Proficiency Requirements for Civil Service Jobs It is the established policy to maintain a biliterate (Chinese and English) and trilingual (Cantonese, Putonghua and English) Civil Service in order to meet the long-term operational and development needs.  The language proficiency requirements of civil service grades are normally laid down as part of the entry requirements for recruitment – for degree / professional grades, the language proficiency requirements are normally set at either Level 2 or Level 1 in the two language papers (viz. Use of Chinese (UC) and Use of English (UE)) in the Common Recruitment Examination (CRE), or equivalent [Note 1];  for non-degree grades with academic qualification requirements at the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination (HKCEE) level or above, the language proficiency requirements are normally at least Level 2 in Chinese Language and English Language subjects in the HKCEE, or equivalent [Note 2]; for non-degree grades with academic qualification requirements lower than the HKCEE level, the language proficiency requirements are normally aligned with the minimum academic qualification prescribed for the concerned grades; and for non-degree grades that do not have any prescribed academic qualification, the language proficiency requirements are also set at a level commensurate with the job requirements of the concerned grades.   Language proficiency requirements of particular grades will be shown at the relevant recruitment advertisements.  Applicants are normally required to meet the language proficiency requirements before job applications.  Enquiries on the language proficiency requirements and recruitment plan of particular grades can be directed to the recruiting grades / departments. [Note 1] Language Proficiency Requirements Some examples of examination results which equivalent to certain level in the UE or UC paper of the CRE Level 2 in the UE paper of the CRE Level 5 or above in English Language of the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination (HKDSEE) Grade C or above in Use of English of the Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (HKALE) or in English Language of the General Certificate of Education (Advanced Level) (GCE A Level) An overall band of 6.5 or above with no subtest score below band 6 obtained in the same sitting in the Academic Module of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) within the 2-year validity period of the test Level 2 in the UC paper of the CRE Level 5 or above in Chinese Language of the HKDSEE Grade C or above in Chinese Language and Culture or Chinese Language and Literature of the HKALE Level 1 in the UE paper of the CRE Level 4 in English Language of the HKDSEE Grade D in Use of English of the HKALE or in English Language of the GCE A Level Level 1 in the UC paper of the CRE Level 4 in Chinese Language of the HKDSEE Grade D in Chinese Language and Culture or Chinese Language and Literature of the HKALE   [Note 2] For civil service appointment purpose, Grade C and Grade E in Chinese Language and English Language (Syllabus B) in HKCEE before 2007 are accepted administratively as comparable to Level 3 and Level 2 respectively in Chinese Language and English Language in the 2007 HKCEE and henceforth.  Grade C and Grade D in Chinese Language and English Language in International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) / General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) / General Certificate of Education (Ordinary Level)(GCE O Level) are accepted as comparable to Level 3 and Level 2 in Chinese Language and English Language respectively in the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination (HKDSEE) / HKCEE for civil service appointments.  "Attained" and "Attained with Distinction" results in the Applied Learning Chinese (for non-Chinese speaking students) subject is accepted respectively as meeting the Chinese language proficiency requirements of Level 2 and Level 3 in Chinese Language in HKDSEE.       Latest Civil Service Vacancies with Lowered / Relatively Lower Language Proficiency Requirements For latest civil service vacancies with lowered / relatively lower Language Proficiency Requirements, please click here for more details.  (The list of job vacancies only serves as a summary for easy reference.  For full details and the latest position of the listed job vacancies, please visit the online Government Vacancies Enquiry system on the Civil Service Bureau website.)       Stories of Non-ethnic Chinese Civil Servants Here's a video about government job opportunities for Non-Ethnic Chinese:   Useful Links Government Vacancies Enquiry System - which provides full details and the latest position of government job vacancies. Race Relations Unit of Home Affairs Department - which provides a range of support services to ethnic minorities. Employment Services for Ethnic Minorities of Labour Department - which provides a range of employment-related support services to ethnic minorities job seekers.  

The pilot scheme of Tuen Mun Park inclusive play space (Architectural Services Department, Leisure and Cultural Services Department)

The Architectural Services Department (ArchSD) and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) have introduced the first inclusive playground in Hong Kong at Tuen Mun Park with two natural elements of “water” and “sand” in the design. This playground aims at providing a well-designed environment which allows children of different ages and abilities to equally enjoy a variety of physical, sensory and social play experiences. Children can take up challenges commensurate with their ability and interact with others while enjoying themselves in this playful environment. COMMUNITY DESIGN AND USER-ORIENTED APPROACH To respond to the demand for inclusive play spaces, ArchSD and LCSD swiftly implemented the winning schemes of the Inclusive Play Space Design Ideas Competition. Only a month after the competition, ArchSD had already completed the master layout plan and worked closely with LCSD on this project through exchange of ideas and inter-departmental design workshops. ArchSD and LCSD believe that the playground should be user-oriented. Stakeholders of various sectors were invited to join a series of focus group workshops and potential users’ views were collected. School children from Tuen Mun were invited to contribute ideas on the design of the sensory walls and the floor pattern of the water play area. The amazingly creative ideas of the children were gathered and seamlessly incorporated in the final design. The Tuen Mun District Council was also consulted and a swing area with feature swings were introduced to address the requests of the local community. COLLABORATE CLOSELY TO CATER TO DIFFERENT NEEDS To strike a balance between safety, enjoyment and inclusiveness, ArchSD and LCSD adopted an innovative approach to the design and management of the playground. Through collaborative team meetings and training workshops throughout the design and construction stages, the two departments discussed the management and maintenance arrangement of the playground, and all front-line staff were familiar with the inclusive design concept as well as the maintenance standard of the play equipment. ArchSD also customised suitable tools and accessories to facilitate the safe and effective work of LCSD’s team. Besides, ArchSD and LCSD had invited school children and professional bodies to join the experiencing workshops and trial play sessions, which not only promoted the project but also served as trial runs. Both departments could also observe the usage, survey users’ opinions, and conduct evaluation for the continuous improvement of the playground facilities and management. SIGNIFICANT ACCOMPLISHMENT AND SUCCESSFUL INNOVATION The playground has been very popular and well received by the public, with extensive media coverage and shares on social media platforms. The concept of inclusive play has been successfully promoted in Hong Kong through this pilot project. It has won Gold Award 2018 presented by the Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects, the Special Architectural Award – Inclusive Design presented by the Hong Kong Institute of Architects, and the Annual Design Award presented by ArchSD, and has gained recognition from various government departments as well as committees on children and barrier-free affairs. Frequent site visits to the Park were held to share the experience gained. (The video is provided by Development Bureau) (For more details, please visit Sevice Excellence Website)

New gear to save lives (Civil Aid Service)

Super typhoon Mangkhut left a path of destruction in Hong Kong last year when it knocked down more than 60,000 trees and caused extensive damage to the city. This year, the Government is readying for the wet season with new equipment and exercises to optimise its emergency response. One such drill, which put the Civil Aid Service’s preparedness for emergency operations to the test, saw service personnel efficiently cut apart a collapsed tree with new high-powered chainsaws in a Tsuen Wan campsite. Civil Aid Service (Department) Operations & Training Assistant Ng Shing-chiu said the new chainsaws are suitable for most scenarios involving typhoons. “The new chainsaw models have much more power and are simpler to use. “Another piece of equipment that has been introduced is the extended pole saw, which can stretch as high as 21 ft to reach broken branches on treetops.” To guarantee the chainsaw operator’s safety, the service also started using two types of protective chaps made of materials that can stop a chainsaw’s rotation, Mr Ng added. Better response Besides tree clearance, the service needs to deal with flooding, casualty evacuation, evacuation of residents and management of temporary shelters. It has introduced different types of specialised equipment to handle such scenarios, such as new and more comfortable life jackets for rescuers and victims. Previously the service only had one size of throwline, but now there are various sizes and lengths for different flood rescue scenarios. The rescuer can throw these throwlines from the shore or use them while they are in the water. Civil Aid Service (Department) Acting Principal Operations & Training Officer Chui Ka-yi said: “The service has seen all-around improvement in terms of equipment, training and relief effort strategies. “We also gained valuable experience from our deployment when super typhoons Mangkhut and Hato smashed into Hong Kong.” The service will hold talks and workshops in Kwun Tong and Sha Tin to introduce measures that residents should take when facing emergencies.” (For more details, please visit News.gov.hk website)