Behind every controversial or run-of-the-mill piece of legislation, and amid the antics of grandstanding legislators, it is probably fair to say that Hong Kong's Legislative Council (Legco) secretariat keeps the city's lawmaking engine humming.
The dedicated support team, which works to ensure the smooth daily operation of Legco, is looking to fill a range of positions this year.
The secretariat is hiring one to two assistant legal advisers, and will soon start recruiting council secretaries, educators and visitors' service assistants.
The assistant legal advisers will be responsible for scrutinising bills and subsidiary legislation, examining aspects of public policies, and providing advice and support for Legco and its committees.
Barristers with six years' post-call experience, or solicitors who have been admitted for four years, are eligible. "Applicants should be meticulous, focused on understanding the legislation, articulate, and be devoted to the job," says Pauline Ng, Legco's secretary general.
The starting salary of an assistant legal adviser ranges from HK$77,000 to HK$89,000. The remuneration means candidates will have to show an excellent ability to grasp details in a short time, and be able to produce high-quality reports within a tight schedule.
Ng says it is difficult to fill the positions of council secretary and senior council secretary because the roles require "excellent writing and comprehension skills".
Plans are continuing to recruit two council secretaries with six years' experience in committee work, research, administration and handling of complaints, and five to seven senior council secretaries with nine years' experience. The roles provide support to Legco members, committees and the secretariat in assisting with meeting procedures and offering administrative and logistics support.
Ng says there are good advancement opportunities. "On average, it takes two to three years to advance from council secretary to senior council secretary, and about four years to become chief council secretary."
She adds that from there, a chief council secretary may be promoted to the position of principal council secretary, then assistant secretary general and secretary general. A council secretary is paid HK$38,000 to HK$48,000 a month, while a senior council secretary earns HK$49,000 to HK$74,000.
The secretariat is also planning to hire three or four educators to conduct role-plays of the law-making process for schools and youth groups, and assist in the production of learning and teaching resources for students and teachers. University degree holders with at least two years' experience in teaching or community education can apply.
Other new positions include nine vacancies for visitors' service assistant I and eight for visitors' service assistant II. They will be manning reception counters, responding to inquiries, conducting guided tours, assisting in the tour office, handling sales operations and running the gift shop.
Individuals with two passes in the Hong Kong Advanced Level Examinations and three credits in the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination (HKCEE), and six years' working experience in office administration and customer service are ideal for the visitors' service assistant I position.
Holders of passes in Chinese and English in the HKCEE and three years' experience in customer service can apply for visitors' service assistant II posts.
Successful educator candidates can expect a starting salary of HK$20,000 to HK$36,000 a month, while visitors' service assistants I and II can earn HK$14,000 to HK$20,000, and HK$9,000 to HK$15,000, respectively.
All recruits will join an induction programme highlighting the various functions of Legco, and on-the-job training.
"We provide financial support for staff who wish to apply for training programmes related to their line of work," Ng says.
Most positions are on three-year contracts
In-house and overseas training on offer
Assistant legal adviser applications by November 8