10m mi­grants to be trained each year

Lack of skills said to keep many work­ers out of mod­ern in­dus­tries

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By HE DAN hedan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The govern­ment plans to pro­vide train­ing for all young mi­grant work­ers by 2020 to fa­cil­i­tate eco­nomic re­struc­tur­ing, a se­nior hu­man re­source of­fi­cial said on Thurs­day.

“Lack of skills has im­peded mi­grant work­ers’ abil­ity to be­come qual­i­fied for work in mod­ern in­dus­tries,” said Yang Zhim­ing, vice-min­is­ter of hu­man re­sources and so­cial se­cu­rity.

The govern­ment plans to train 10 mil­lion work­ers ev­ery year start­ing from this year, said Yang.

The pro­gram

will mostly ben­e­fit the “new gen­er­a­tion of mi­grant work­ers”, which refers to those born af­ter the 1980s. About 100 mil­lion mi­grant work­ers fall into this so­cial group. China had 269 mil­lion mi­grant work­ers by the end of 2013, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial fig­ures.

Yang said that la­bor costs in China will in­crease in com­ing years; there­fore, a suf­fi­cient num­ber of skilled work­ers is vi­tal for the econ­omy to be up­graded from “made in China” to “cre­ated in China”.

Yang was speak­ing at a news con­fer­ence hosted by the State Coun­cil In­for­ma­tion Of­fice in Bei­jing.

Min­istry sta­tis­tics showed that monthly in­come for mi­grant work­ers reached about 2,600 yuan ($427) in 2013, an in­crease of nearly 14 per­cent com­pared with the pre­vi­ous year.

But the in­come gap be­tween ru­ral and ur­ban res­i­dents is still large, as mi­grant work­ers earn only 60 per­cent of what their ur­ban coun­ter­parts earn, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Bureau of Sta­tis­tics.

The pay for mi­grant work­ers in the eco­nom­i­cally de­vel­oped east­ern parts of the coun­try was about 10 per­cent higher than in cen­tral or western parts, Yang said.

Liu Jun­sheng, a re­searcher at the La­bor and Wage In­sti­tute of the Min­istry of Hu­man Re­sources and So­cial Se­cu­rity, told China Daily that ris­ing la­bor costs have forced many la­bor-in­ten­sive in­dus­tries in the coastal ar­eas to re­lo­cate to in­land prov­inces and even to coun­tries in South­east Asia.

He es­ti­mates that the govern­ment will in­vest at least 60 bil­lion yuan each year on the mas­sive train­ing pro­gram.

Shi Zhen­huan, a com­mu­ni­ca­tion of­fi­cial at Fox­conn Tech­nol­ogy Group, a ma­jor sup­plier for elec­tron­ics gi­ants, in­clud­ing Ap­ple Inc, said it is dif­fi­cult for the com­pany to re­cruit enough skilled work­ers for its 30 man­u­fac­tur­ing plants in the coun­try.

He said most em­ploy­ees are not well ed­u­cated and lack re­quired skills, adding that it is chal­leng­ing for the com­pany to im­prove their skills as most young work­ers change jobs fre­quently.


A restau­rant owner tries to re­cruit new staff at the Hu­fangqiao Job Mar­ket in Bei­jing ear­lier this week. He holds a sign de­tail­ing pay and con­di­tions: a monthly salary of 2,500 yuan ($410) with free meals and liv­ing ac­com­mo­da­tions.

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