SDG8 Decent Work and Economic Growth
Lowering the curve-construction site safety improvement: culture's consequences | Photo Credit: Healthy High Density Cities Lab, Faculty of Architecture, HKU
HKU works to ensure that there is a safe, positive, and productive work environment for all staff. The University of Hong Kong Staff Association and the Hong Kong University Employees' Union promotes staff wellbeing with a variety of work-life balance and professional development activities such as cultural tours, dragon boat races, and financial seminars.
To support full and productive employment and decent work for graduates, CEDARS has a Careers and Placement division to help students find a job they fit after they finish their studies. They host recruitment events, job fairs, and career education events to connect students and employers and prepare them for employment.
HKU also embeds the ideas of decent work and economic growth into the curriculum. The Master of Social Sciences in the field of Corporate Environmental Governance degree gives graduates the expertise to drive sustainable development in the business world. It prepares graduates to work in corporate social responsibility (CSR) or to root these ideas into their company regardless of their position. At the undergraduate level, the Corporate Social Responsibility course also covers the interplay between economic profit and responsible business practices. The Globalization in Question: Human and Economic Consequences course looks at the effect of globalization on developed and developing countries and the results for economic growth and livelihoods.
Teaching & Research
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Safe and secure working environments are integral to a productive and positive workplace. The Healthy High Density Cities Lab (HDCL) of the Faculty of Architecture recently concluded a research project to improve safety on construction sites in Hong Kong. The decline of accident rates on Hong Kong sites had stopped since 2005, which could be caused by the deterioration of effectiveness of existing site safety initiatives. HDCL sought to develop solutions to break the plateau by promoting a new and sustainable reduction in accident rates. They looked at the safety climate, risk-taking propensity of construction workers, and mismatches in speaking and action on construction sites. The study found that although tangible actions have taken place to increase safety, there are still cultural values that lead to accidents. This valuable research will help construction site managers improve their safety procedures.
Since 2017, the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Hub iDendron has been promoting entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation at HKU by providing co-working space and event space for anchor programmes such as DreamCatchers and Entrepreneurship Academy. In collaboration with the Faculty of Business and Economics, the Entrepreneurship Academy, hosts free workshops annually on topics including business model design and intellectual property to help young entrepreneurs build start-ups. In 2019, iDendron hosted an HKU-wide competition for the global Hult Prize on the theme of Solving Youth Unemployment. The champion team EmployMe won the Regional finals at Ho Chi Minh City to get into the Startup Accelerator in London with 32 other teams from around the world. After the tournament, one of the team members Sidhant Gupta worked on another project Clearbot which aims at detecting and collecting ocean plastic waste. In 2018–19, iDendron supported 52 start-up projects and companies including the SDGs-related projects Chinese Medicine in Sports and Pola Mola.