SPECIAL help is being arranged for the thousands of local men and women who will lose their jobs when the British Garrison leaves Hongkong, although offers of British passports will not be made. The Commander British Forces, Major-General John Foley, said yesterday he would like to back every application for a full British passport by his staff, but that was outside his control. Civilians and service personnel are entitled to apply for British passports under the British Nationality Scheme, a spokesman for the Immigration Department said. ''All applicants have to state a number of things, such as their connection with the UK and working for the Garrison would count as a connection, but there is no preferential treatment,'' he said. ''We do not have figures of how many people from the Garrison have applied.'' General Foley praised the work of the civilians and of the enlisted personnel who are mostly in the Hongkong Military Service Corps. ''The Military Service Corps do an extremely important job within the Garrison - they run like a silver thread through all units and do all sorts of jobs and tasks,'' he said. ''When they leave [the Garrison] they have a 100 per cent resettlement record, which I'm delighted about. As good employers we hope that will continue right up to 1997.'' He said efforts would be taken to help former Garrison workers find new jobs. ''A committee is being set up to look at ways of resettling the local civilian staff who have served us so well,'' a Garrison spokesman said. A fund has been established to help locally enlisted personnel but it has not yet been decided if civilians will benefit from a similar set-up. The enlisted personnel trust has yet to be launched officially, though it has raised $2 million since it was set up in 1990 by the then-Commander British Forces, Major-General Sir Peter Duffell. ''The primary purpose of this fund will be to really look after those people who have fallen on hard times after they have served the Crown loyally and well for many years,'' said Lieutenant-Colonel Nick Southward, one of the fund's trustees. Separate operations are in place to help find local personnel jobs when they leave the Forces and a similar scheme for civilians, if not a trust fund, is expected to be developed. More than 2,000 civilians and about 1,300 Hongkong Chinese service personnel will be made redundant before the territory is handed back to China. The Gurkha regiments will also be disbanded, though employment prospects remain good for them, according to the managing director of Jardine Securicor Gurkha Services Ltd, Chris Hardy, who has taken on many former soldiers. ''At a conservative estimate I would expect to recruit about 400 men from this October to September next year,'' he said.