Macau’s labour shortages make it difficult for companies – including casino operators – to free staff from front-line duties so that they can have professional training to develop their skills, said Pansy Ho Chiu King (pictured) on Monday.
Ms Ho, co-chairperson of MGM China Holdings Ltd, was speaking at a press conference to announce the next edition of the Global Tourism Economy Forum – an international event in collaboration with the World Tourism Organization, UNWTO, and to be held at the Venetian Macao from October 27 to 29.
“We have persistently the issue of a shortage of labour,” she stated. “If you don’t have sufficient labour to allow for people the ability to take spare time to go and take further education or to be trained, then it [is]…not easy to encounter. That is the issue we have from amongst the investment community.”
Macau’s unemployment rate remained at 1.7 percent in the March to May period, a level considered statistical full employment in most economies.
Macau’s Chief Executive said during his Policy Address for 2014 that he wanted to see employers – particularly casino operators – doing more to nurture locals’ talents and move them into better paid managerial jobs where possible.
Ms Ho said on Monday: “Obviously we are very mindful of how we can continue to nurture our local citizens, but in our opinion, in order to protect and allow them [local people] to have the best possible career path, is to actually help them to educate their skill set.”
She had earlier said that more training was part of the answer to concerns that Macau’s service standards lagged behind its tourism infrastructure.
At last year’s Global Tourism Economy Forum, Wang Ping, president of the China Chamber of Tourism, said Macau’s tourism service quality, in particular the taxi service, was “getting poorer” while holiday costs here soared.
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"The MSAR [Macau Special Administrative Region] Government is always maintaining its policy not to have imported labour to work as dealers. This position has not changed"
Lionel Leong Vai Tac
Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance