Proposal to outsource lifeguards sparks worries about safety

Swimmers may perhaps encounter outsourced lifeguards in community swimming swimming pools in the potential, according to the Lifestyle, Athletics, and Tourism Bureau.

Undersecretary for Lifestyle, Sporting activities, and Tourism Raistlin Lau Chun said authorities are taking into consideration to use contractors for lifesaving products and services at six public swimming swimming pools, together with those in Hong Kong Island East and Tai Kok Tsui.

The govt hopes that all around 80 lifeguards from these six swimming pools can later on be reassigned to other pools in the district. Nonetheless, this strategy only consists of outsourcing the providers, as the pool administration will continue to be beneath the department’s handle.

“Outsourcing is staying regarded as a very last vacation resort, as the governing administration has currently attempted recruitment and other actions to improve pool products and services,” Lau reported. “Nevertheless, we have faced significant challenges.”

This conclusion has lifted concerns among the labor sector lawmakers, who argue that prior ordeals with outsourcing lifeguard solutions have compromised swimmers’ security.

Lawmaker Chau Siu-chung said: “When the governing administration outsourced two swimming pools in 2001 and 2005, really serious administration troubles arose, and there were being even scenarios of unqualified folks posing as lifeguards.”

He also reported that in spite of issuing 1,800 Pool Lifeguard Awards per year, Hong Kong struggles to catch the attention of lifeguards because of to small salaries.

Chau added that an instant evaluation of the career-grading structure is necessary to tackle this issue.

Lawmaker Nixie Lam Lam advised the govt concentration on enhancing the overall graphic of lifeguards to entice more youthful folks to the marketplace.

As of August 1 previous 12 months, the Leisure and Cultural Providers Division employed a overall of 1,741 lifeguards, like 181 senior lifeguards and 1,560 common lifeguards.

Having said that, only about 30 % of candidates handed the competencies take a look at and recruitment interviews, which is lessen than the former year’s charge of 40 %.

Because of to the scarcity of lifeguards, 23 out of 41 swimming swimming pools have been partly opened from April to May well very last calendar year, whilst 28 experienced a partial opening from June to August.

About 1,800 lifeguards are necessary from April to Might and September to October, though about 2,000 lifeguards are required from June to August each calendar year. Even for the duration of the non-swimming season – from November to March – the LCSD involves around 1,200 lifeguards.

To make improvements to lifeguard products and services, the LCSD is setting up to increase the remuneration for seasonal lifeguards in the upcoming 2024 swimming time to align with industry trends.

The proposed regular monthly wage, alongside with the agreement completion reward, would selection from HK$24,500 to HK$26,000 – narrowing the wage hole with the non-public sector.

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