Fewer than half of the 7,000 jobs to be created in the health and welfare sector will be permanent, it was announced yesterday. Secretary for Health and Welfare Dr Yeoh Eng-kiong said most of the 3,000 new permanent jobs would be in social welfare, including care assistants for the elderly and the disabled and programme assistants for community support services. Although most of the jobs would be on a contract basis, there would be long-term posts, Dr Yeoh said. 'These new jobs will be a great help to the labour market and there will also be thousands more jobs created by the many infrastructure projects', which together with the economic recovery would make more jobs available, he said. But the Personal Care Workers and Home Helpers Association warned the new jobs, announced in the Policy Address, could compromise standards. Association chairman Cheng Ching-fat said: 'Jobs for this line of work are simply no way to solve the problem. '[This type of work] requires lots of mutual trust to be built up between service providers and users, as well as training in on-the-job techniques. Also, a set time limit will undermine the workers' motivation to perform.' Service quality would be compromised by lack of incentive and poor pay, Mr Cheng said. He feared the move would be a waste of public funds and do little to help relieve the pressure on social services. Hong Kong Social Workers' General Union president Cheung Kwok-che said the move was better than nothing. Mr Cheung was not too worried about a possible fall in service standards as the social workers' code of conduct states that workers must perform their duties to the full until they leave their jobs. He hoped the new jobs would become permanent once the Government realised their importance.