Demand for construction workers to meet the homes pledge could easily be met locally, a union said yesterday. Retrainees and graduates from the Vocational Training Council and Construction Industry Training Authority would be sufficient to deal with any 'minor' shortage in peak years, the union said. The Construction Industry Employees General Union released a study supporting its demand for labour importation to be scrapped. The study showed 10,000 construction workers had been hired to build 10,000 flats and other projects between 1986 and last year. With the 83,500-strong construction workforce, the study believed only an extra 1,500 to 3,000 workers would be needed for Mr Tung's plan to build 85,000 flats a year. That contrasts with the shortage of 10,000 workers estimated by the Construction Association this week. Poon To-chuen, the union chairman, said more than 210,000 people were working in the industry including 83,500 on construction sites and 120,000 on interior decoration. 'I think the employers have been misinformed on the actual numbers of our workforce and wrongly demanded massive labour importation plans,' he said. Bosses did not seem too keen on hiring local workers because these workers knew to what extent the labour laws could protect them, he said. Mr Poon, a training authority member, said 4,000 of its graduates would easily fill any gap.