Time to turn the page
After sustaining months of ordeal caused by the Omicron variant, it is heartening to see that the fifth wave of COVID-19 is slowly retreating after infecting the bulk of the population. According to modelling work done by some medical experts, up to four millions have been infected and herd immunity has already been built locally. After paying the price, the city now sees the hope of a gradual return to normality. With the Government announcing a 3-month plan for phased relaxation of the social distancing requirements, the Institution’s operations and services started to resume more functional from late April. Provided that the epidemic shows no signs of rebound and the downward trend continues, we are looking forward to the lifting of the lockdown that we have all experienced for some time already.
Whilst normal life is getting back on track, we are not losing sight of what is in store in the years ahead. For developing Hong Kong into a technology and innovation hub, and with mega development projects such as the Northern Metropolis and Lantau Tomorrow Vision in the pipeline, there is a valid concern on whether there will be sufficient engineering professionals to meet the demand for accomplishing the development blueprint. The HKIE considers it imperative to assist in studying the problems and offering advice to alleviate the situation. To this end, we have set up a Task Force with active participation by young members of the President’s Protégée Club to conduct a detailed study on the foreseeable workload and local engineering manpower supply in the coming decades. The Task Force has identified a vicious circle within the engineering industry driving down efficiency and productivity. As a major deliverable, the Task Force has issued their research report entitled “Research on Augmenting Engineer Manpower to Cope with the Foreseeable Surge in Demand” which also contains recommendations for improvements in five key areas.
With the objective of ensuring quality infrastructure and public works, the Institution reckons that the Government’s prevailing principle of “best value for money” might have led to the persisting award of public works contracts and consultant agreements with tendered prices being significantly lower than that allowed in the original pre-tender estimates. To guard against the adverse consequences damaging further the core of the engineering profession, a team of the Task Force has also complied a research report entitled “Research on Procurement Policy Review for Works Contracts and Consultancy Contracts” highlighting the current procurement policy and proposals for enhancements. This, together with the report on engineering manpower, has been sent to both the Financial Secretary and the Secretary for Development appealing for their review with relevant bureaus and departments.
Taking the opportunity to meet with the Chief Executive Candidate Mr John Lee Ka-chiu on 13 April 2022 at an Election Committee Zoom Forum relating to land, housing and construction, the President shared the Institution’s visions and recommendations for Hong Kong’s future, including the findings made in the above two reports. Upon Mr Lee’s request, copies of the reports were then delivered to the Candidate’s Campaign Office for his perusal whilst he was in the process of mapping out his manifesto for the development of Hong Kong. The HKIE is contented that we can play our part in starting a new chapter for our beloved city.
President's Protégé Scheme
The President's Protégé Scheme has been very successful and well-received since its launch in Session 2009/2010. Over the years, the Scheme has not only provided an opportunity for young engineers to gain insights into the work of senior industry figures, but also offered a valuable opportunity for them to build a solid foundation for their future career development. The Scheme for Session 2022/2023 will be open for application in mid-July 2022. Please stay tuned for further details on the HKIE website.
HKIE Mentorship Scheme
The Task Force on HKIE Membership Application has launched the Mentorship Scheme (the Scheme) in April 2022. The objective of the Scheme is to offer encouragement and mentor-to-mentee support for non-Corporate Members or other target participants to become a Member of The Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (MHKIE) or an Associate Member of the HKIE (AMHKIE), or existing Members seeking Additional Discipline. With individual guidance from a Mentor, the Scheme aims at enhancing Mentees’ understanding of the admission requirements of the MHKIE/AMHKIE/Additional Discipline application. The duration of the Scheme for individual Mentees will normally be within two years.
A Mentor Briefing and a Launching Webinar were conducted online on 9 and 23 April respectively with positive feedback. Corporate Members or Associate Members meeting the requirements are invited to become voluntary Mentors of the Scheme. Information about the Scheme including mentor registration and mentee application is available at the HKIE website.
Trainee of the Year Award 2022 - Call for nominations
The Trainee of the Year Award was established in 1993 by the HKIE to recognise outstanding achievements of Scheme “A” trainees. Registered Scheme “A” trainees whose nominal training period lies within 1 September 2021 and 31 August 2022 are eligible to apply for the Award. Nominations for the Award are now open until 31 August 2022. For details, please visit the HKIE website at https://hkie.org.hk/en/quali/traineeoftheyearaward.
E-learning materials for professional ethics and corruption prevention
The Hong Kong Institution of Engineers and the Hong Kong Business Ethics Development Centre (HKBEDC) of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) have jointly developed e-learning materials for members in the construction industry, including two modules of E-learning course and online feature articles. These can also be accessed through the HKIE website.
Update on City Dress-up Photo Competition - “Engineering Hong Kong’s Bright Future”
Being a part of the City Dress-up Programme for the Celebration of the 25th Anniversary Celebrations of the Establishment of the HKSAR, the City Dress-up Photo Competition - “Engineering Hong Kong’s Bright Future” has been launched for submissions to two categories – Student Member and Member of 35 years of age or below. To encourage members to take part in this meaningful event by showcasing Hong Kong’s infrastructure and engineering achievements as well as the vitality of the engineering industry through photography, participation is now extended to all HKIE members. For details, please refer to the HKIE website: http://hkie.org.hk/photocompetition2022.