The government could bring in non-local construction and transport workers under a scheme similar to the one used to import carers to Hong Kong, labour secretary Chris Sun said on Wednesday.
The plan, which will be introduced in June, allows all care homes to recruit staff outside the SAR to tackle a manpower crunch in the industry.
At a Legislative Council meeting, Sun was asked if the government would consider introducing a similar scheme to facilitate the importation of workers for the construction and transport industries.
He conceded that there's a serious labour shortage in these sectors, and said the government will come up with ways to tackle the situation by the middle of the year.
"[The scheme] only applies to care workers at the moment. Concerning the Development Bureau-led measures for the construction industry, and the measures from the Transport and Logistics Bureau dealing with the transport sector, the specific measures will be put forward by the relevant bureaus," Sun told lawmakers.
"Of course, one of the ways is to reference what's been done at care homes."
Lawmaker Tommy Cheung, who represents the catering industry, said Hong Kong has an acute need to import workers, especially in the hospitality sector.
"With 'Hello Hong Kong', I'm worried that without the imported labour, people will come in and then leave with a very bad taste in their mouth, because we are not living up to our standard of our usual retail services and restaurant services," he said.