URA to recruit for new projects
The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) expects to increase its headcount over the next five years to satisfy the growing demand for skilled professionals arising from its multiple redevelopment and rehabilitation initiatives.
Not only will the volume of initiatives go up, the complexity of such projects will also increase, according to a spokesman for the external relations department at the authority.
URA's current headcount is 400. From time to time and in line with its business plans, the authority hires individuals with specialised skills and knowledge in various disciplines, including architecture, urban design, surveying and engineering, the spokesman says. The authority has recently launched a recruitment exercise for several positions, including senior officer for property and land, and senior officer and officer responsible for acquisition and clearance.
Ongoing demand for additional manpower aside, the authority upholds a sensible human resources policy for the long term. "Although the anticipated increase in workload has called for a greater demand for manpower resources, it is the strategy of URA to maintain a lean structure. Outsourcing and deployment of contract staff and external consultants to meet certain workloads of time-limited nature are adopted where appropriate," the spokesman adds.
URA was established under the Urban Renewal Authority Ordinance in May 2001 to replace the Land Development Corporation as the statutory body to undertake, encourage, promote and facilitate the regeneration of the city's older urban areas. Through urban renewal initiatives, URA aims to create high-quality and vibrant urban living spaces in Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong government's implementation of its Urban Renewal Strategy in February 2011 has further accelerated the pace of URA's execution of its initiatives. "The strategy stipulates that redevelopment and rehabilitation initiatives are URA's core businesses," the spokesman says. "Over the next few years, URA will see an increase in the number of its redevelopment and rehabilitation projects. The new policy facilitates the URA to improve the living conditions of residents in old urban areas in more diverse forms and at a faster pace."
URA's redevelopment projects are broadly categorised into demand-led redevelopment projects and facilitation services, in addition to the URA-initiated redevelopment projects.
On the rehabilitation front, URA has intensified its efforts through its Operation Building Bright and the Integrated Building Maintenance Assistance schemes. In two phases scheduled for 2013 and 2015, URA will take over the current rehabilitation work from the Hong Kong Housing Society. This work currently falls outside the service area of URA. The authority will also participate in the Mandatory Building Inspection Scheme, to be launched by the government shortly.