BOAT people working in detention centres are to be made redundant under a plan by the Government to encourage more Vietnamese to volunteer to return home. At present about 14,000 boat people in the detention centres are employed by the Government to help in the running of the camps receiving a maximum of $180 a month. But an extensive review of the numbers offered work is to be carried out to find ways of implementing redundancies. Officials argue that faced with the apparent drop in voluntary repatriation and the fact most of those here are long stayers a new approach is necessary. ''Things that may have been appropriate in the past have to be re-examined,'' Government Refugee Co-ordinator Mr Brian Bresnihan said yesterday. One in every two adults between the age of 16 and 60 are employed by the Government, predominantly the Correctional Services Department (CSD). Officials do believe that employment opportunities in the camps has become a factor in the reluctance of Vietnamese boat people to return to Vietnam. The maximum salary of $180 a month is substantial in Vietnamese terms and here the boat people do not have to pay for education or food. A recent survey carried out by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) found that there was a correlation between employment and voluntary repatriation. It found that the bulk of those returning home either had not had jobs or were at the lower end of the employment scale. The move comes as the UNHCR has told the key voluntary agencies working in the camps to restrict all services for the Vietnamese to an absolute minimum and to cut all adult education. There are fears the move will add to tension in the detention centres but the UNHCR has argued something has to be done to get people home particularly as the international community is unlikely to want to go on supporting them indefinitely. The Government have resisted earlier suggestions that employment levels be cut fearing that adding to the time spent idle would make the camps more difficult to manage but Mr Bresnihan said a review was being carried out at the moment by the relevant Government departments. As well as looking at restricting the time employed, a review of payment procedures might also be done in the future. He said the Government was really only looking at tightening up on employment as most people employed by the administration work as cooks, cleaners and interpreters and there was no way they could all be cut. He also conceded that the CSD would have to be careful about any moves it makes to ensure it did not stop people working altogether. ''In looking at alterations in the employment scheme we have to weigh the implications on the workforce. ''I think with anything you do in the camps there is a risk you will invite a hostile reaction.'' But he said the fact that two-thirds of the population have now been here three years or more and the bulk of those have been screened out indicated that there was a real need to look at the situation. In contrast the bulk of those who have gone home were shortstayers and only 30 per cent had been screened out and determined not to be refugees. CSD Assistant Commissioner (Vietnamese) Mr Cheng Chi-leung said any cut in employment would be gradual and would depend on needs. But he said it should not be too difficult to introduce some cuts as about 12,000 boat people returned home last year. Mr Cheng said it would be quite easy to limit the length of employment as most of their workers could be replaced quite easily.