Issue 23, August 2021

Nurturing Engineering Talent for the Future

At ATAL, engineering is our passion and our people are our valuable assets. Over the years, the Group spared no effort in nurturing talent to support its sustainable growth and the industry as a whole. Hong Kong had more than 200,000 registered skilled construction workers in 2020, but will face a shortfall of between 5,000 to 10,000 skilled workers every year in the next five years while the sector will see total expenditures reaching HK$300 billion every year in the same period, according to the Construction Industry Council (CIC).

“Anticipating these challenges, ATAL has rolled out a number of measures, including in-house training programmes that enhance staff skills and competencies and equip our people for success in an ever-changing environment,” said Ir Victor Law, Managing Director of ATAL Engineering Group.

ATAL’s Building Services (BS) Skill Enhancement Scheme for Technicians (BEST Programme) is a typical example of this approach in action.

One of ATAL’s key business segments, BS has maintenance service at its core, providing a steady revenue stream that is less affected by cyclical economic downturns. Maintenance service also provides ongoing ties with clients after project completion, leading to new opportunities that can only be captured if our staff are equipped with comprehensive knowledge and capability to deliver excellent maintenance service. The BEST Programme has been developed with this in mind.

Launched in earlier this year, the nine-month programme comprises both theory and practice to enable our technicians acquire technical knowhow and the right skill sets to master the relevant tools and equipment. The curriculum covers the full BS spectrum, including operation and maintenance of facilities in fire services, plumbing and drainage, electricity and heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Training is delivered by in-house professionals and a professor from the Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong. The ongoing programme will cover about 35% of our technicians in the next two to three years, and an intermediate level programme is in the pipeline.

Healthcare engineering is another unique strength of ATAL, and for many years we have been providing comprehensive E&M engineering and technology services to both private and public hospitals. To meet growing demand, we have now set up a professional Healthcare Engineering Training Centre to offer a Healthcare Engineering Training Programme. The aim is to nurture a new generation of hospital engineers for Hong Kong and other markets, equipping them with solid multi-disciplinary E&M engineering expertise in a healthcare setting.

To put this into action, ATAL signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Chinachem Group on 21 July 2021 to collaborate in providing comprehensive services for the healthcare industry.

Given Chinachem’s strong expertise in property and hospitality management and ATAL’s unparalleled competitive advantage in healthcare engineering services, the strategic partnership will enable both parties to seize opportunities in delivering healthcare services. This will not only satisfy community needs, but also enable us to gain a larger foothold in the local healthcare market and beyond..

ATAL’s Healthcare Engineering Training Programme is a two-year modular training course covering E&M systems, project management, facility management, installation methods, procedures, quality, safety and environmental matters. It will be delivered via classroom tuition, onsite training and mentoring. As healthcare venues like hospitals are mission-critical environments, the programme will also ensure that trainees fully understand the operation of these facilities and the implications for healthcare engineers. The first intake of 20 young engineers will commence training this September.

“Investing in people development is important to our clients, our business and the construction and engineering industry,” Ir Law said. “We shall work closely with the Government and CIC to develop high-impact training programmes that enhance the industry’s competitiveness going forward.”

The BEST Programme has been developed to equip our technicians with diverse knowledge and capability to deliver excellent maintenance service

ATAL signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Chinachem Group to collaborate in providing comprehensive services for the healthcare industry

Nurturing a new generation of hospital engineers and equipping them with multi-disciplinary E&M engineering expertise