Fostering Professionalism of ICT Workers

At present, there is an increasing global demand for IT talents. However, as an international metropolitan, Hong Kong’s adoption of IT technology in various industries is far behind the surrounding regions. In fact, with the growing popularity of smart phone, many large enterprises in Hong Kong have developed network, electronics, mobile phone applications, IT should be a sunrise industry. However, it is sadly that the IT professionals are not respected in Hong Kong.

First, when the government and public organizations procure IT services, they often choose the "lowest bidder", this has been criticized by the industry for a long time. To get the government contract, the IT enterprises have to lower the tender price, resulting in profit reduction, inability to raise wages to attract talents, failure to effectively improve service quality, and innovation and creativity are sacrificed due to cost effectiveness. In addition, the procurement often counts the service experience as an important indicator, thus, many local start-ups cannot win the government contract due to lack of service track record.

What's more, most of the IT staff employed by the government departments are through T-contract contractor (commonly known as "T-contract staff"), these IT staff are recruited and managed by the service contractor. They have been temporary contract staff for so many years, and the government has never considered to turn them into permanent staff, thus, their benefits and salary are poor compared with those staff in the same level but employed under civil service contract. Furthermore, whenever there is business restructuring or downsizing in large corporations, IT department is always the first one to cut off. The IT professionals are exploited despite their obvious value.

I believe it is high time to enhance the IT industry’s image and recognition in the society, for the industry’s healthy development in Hong Kong. Our community needs to understand and participate in the IT industry. I would urge the government to recognize the status of IT professionals, promote professional certification, and match with overseas and mainland certification system, so as to gain respectable status for the IT practitioners.

Political Platform:

  • Urge the Government to establish a system to turn the temporary contract IT staff to permanent staff, so as to eliminate "unequal pay for equal work".
  • Urge the Government to further reduce hiring IT staff through temporary contract.
  • Establish communication channel with various stakeholders and relevant government departments to build up and promote a professional certification system which is recognized by the IT industry.
  • Push the government to implement the policy of "put Hong Kong first" and "prioritize according to ability", and abandon the lowest bidder procurement policy. As the largest IT technology user, the government has responsibility to provide more development opportunities for the local technology enterprises.