Macau (MNA) – Members of the Council for Economic Development (CED) asked Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lionel Leong Vai Tac on Tuesday for the first time to allow gaming operators to hire non-resident croupiers.
After this 2018 plenary meeting held today, the CED head of Human Resources Policies section, Vong Kok Seng, indicated the council members expressed their opinions that certain critical areas of Macau faced a lack of human resources and asked for restrictions in hiring to be lifted.
Currently, only Macau residents can work as croupiers in Macau, an exclusivity also shared by professional drivers.
“It has been made known that there is quite a big demand for croupiers and that is why some members suggested that during the gaming industry development and expansion period the demand for croupiers will grow higher and higher at such a rate that the domestic labour market will have difficulty satisfying the demand. So it could be a good idea to set a target percentage of croupiers that would be imported,” Mr. Vong said.
However, according to the also Vice-President of the Macau Chamber of Commerce, the suggestion also implied that in case the gaming industry contracted or declined, these non-resident workers would be the first to be laid off.
According to Mr. Vong this was the first time this proposal had been made at the CED, but that no response had been provided by the government on the matter.
Council members also asked the Macau government to ease restrictions in hiring non-residents in order to solve a lack of human resources in local “priority industries” in the service sector, Chinese-Portuguese translation, Chinese Medicine, transport industry, particularly delivery, IT, construction and in the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) sector.
During his 2018 Policy Address Q&A at the Legislative Assembly (AL) the Secretary for Economy and Finance stated that the government was studying the possibility of launching a new pilot scheme for granting residency to non-resident science and technology professionals.
However, according to Mr. Vong the Secretary did not debate the proposal during the CED meeting.
Some members of CED also asked if the contract term for foreign labour could be extended so as to make Macau a more inciting work destination for qualified professionals.
“The term for employing imported workers usually is around one to two years, no more than that, but in some particular areas, professionals might prefer to have a longer time because if we are requesting them to come from another country to Macau to help in a highly specialised profession, it means they have to quit their current job […] With a contract of one or two years it might not be enough for them to consider,” Mr. Vong said.
Created in 2005, the CED is an advisory body of the Macau government in developing strategies for economic development, that can propose policies for the diversification of the Macau economy, the exploration and development of SME’s and the incubation of emerging industries.