Hong Kong’s MTR Corporation in association with the Construction Industry Council yesterday launched a US$300,000 scheme to subsidise the employment and training of new workers hired by MTR contractors. The decision has been taken after recent estimates quote that Hong Kong will need at least 1,200 shot firers and 400 TBM operators by 2013 to cope with the region’s burgeoning tunnelling workload.
The scheme will involve a three-week, full time ‘college’ type educational course followed by eight weeks of on-site training. Training courses will be available for shot firers, TBM drivers, as well as drill rig operators, fitters and mechanics.
New worker salaries will be partly paid by the Council, with MTR providing training staff and facilities to get the new rookie tunnellers up to speed.
MTR’s expansion plans over the next decade involve huge amounts of TBM and drill and blast tunnelling, with five projects totaling a value of US$23bn, with 56km of linear length tunnel involved.