• Sat
  • Nov 22, 2014
  • Updated: 10:18pm
NewsHong Kong

Need a job? Try catering - there are almost 14,000 vacancies in Hong Kong

Industry accounts for nearly one in five job openings, according to the latest estimates

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 22 March, 2014, 4:28am
UPDATED : Saturday, 22 March, 2014, 4:28am

There were more job vacancies in catering than any other private-sector industry, according to the latest government figures.

Out of 72,380 private-sector vacancies recorded in December, almost one in five - 13,710 - were in the food and beverage services, the government revealed yesterday.

The retail sector had the next most vacancies, with 8,310, according to the Census and Statistics Department. Import-export, professional and business services and the arts, entertainment and recreation sectors also had thousands of job openings.

Across the private sector, vacancies had increased 11 per cent year on year.

Simon Wong Ka-wo, president of the Federation of Restaurants and Related Trades, said the catering industry faced obstacles in recruiting both high and low paid workers.

Since the introduction of the minimum wage in 2011, many of the lower paid employees, such as cleaners and waiters, had been tempted to take jobs that were similarly remunerated but less physically demanding.

Many lower paid catering staff had become security guards, he said, while many higher paid staff had "gone to the mainland to look for better jobs".

"Even the middle to high management level employees are in great demand," said Wong.

As a result, many restaurants were being forced to promote lower level staff to management positions - even when they did not have the relevant experience. He said the shortfall was likely only to get greater as demand for the service was growing.

"Save for a sudden economic downturn or a rapid decrease in the number of tourists, there will certainly be more and more restaurants opening, and a higher demand in labour in this sector."

Given this, the real number of vacancies could be as much as double the government's figure. He called on the government to provide managerial training to restaurant staff.

Across the private sector employment rose 2.4 per cent in December. Increases were highest in construction, accommodation services and the information and communications sectors. Decreases occurred in manufacturing and wholesale.



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This article is now closed to comments

Catering is not selling food and drink in a restaurant. The article is misusing of the word perhaps deliberately elevating restaurant low pay jobs. Stop this nonsense in importing more low skill low pay restaurant workers in order to further expand ‘tourism’ which mainly benefits the tycoons who are or related to tourism business.
Hong Kong pays in expanding its tourism. The government and the people do the paying and the tycoons do the pocketing. What a rotten scheming.
SCMP reporter is misleading the public and should be condemned. The 14,000 vacancy is probably a projection if Hong Kong opens to more tourists visiting. Otherwise there would be many tourists go hungry everyday. What a tall lie.
This article exemplifies the problem that our (too) mainland tourist oriented economy is causing. It is creating many jobs, but most are low paid and menial positions. This is reflected statistically by a low official unemployment rate, but many still living below the poverty line. ie: the working poor.
There must be billions of jobs open for cotton picking slaves too.
One would think the line: "many of the lower paid employees, such as cleaners and waiters, had been tempted to take jobs that were similarly remunerated but less physically demanding." says it all. It is not a matter of 14,000 vacancies; it is purely a matter of the job conditions being so awful and paying so little that no-one wants to work there.
Perhaps there should be a new labour law that require journalists to have more critical thinking skills than a 7 year old.


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