KMT’s Hung pro­poses ‘em­pow­er­ment’ job plan

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY YUAN-MING CHIAO

Kuom­intang ( KMT) pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Hung Hsiu-chu yesterday out­lined a pro­posal em­pha­siz­ing the need for gov­ern­ment-busi­ness part­ner­ships in cre­at­ing rel­e­vant skillsets as a way to re­duce the na­tion’s youth un­em­ploy­ment prob­lem.

As a sec­ond part of her po­lit­i­cal plat­form em­pha­siz­ing eco­nomic is­sues, Hung stated that youth un­em­ploy­ment was a re­al­ity that also cor­re­sponded with la­bor short­ages faced by some high-tech and ser­vice in­dus­tries. She pro­posed the for­ma­tion of a “Na­tional Academy of Em­pow­er­ment” to help young peo­ple find jobs by train­ing to ob­tain skill sets that em­ploy­ers are look­ing for.

Cit­ing a la­bor short­age of 240,000 and an un­em­ploy­ment rate of close to 13 per­cent for those aged 20-24, Hung placed the blame on the lib­er­al­iza­tion of higher ed­u­ca­tion which she ar­gues has in­flated the num­ber of de­gree hold­ers with­out nec­es­sar­ily meet­ing in­dus­try de­mand for mar­ketable skills.

The plan, “Na­tional Academy of Em­pow­er­ment: Youth As­sis­tance 4.0,” is a four-pronged ap­proach ham­mered out by Hung’s cam­paign team and pol­icy aides in re­sponse to the sput­ter­ing econ­omy and youth dis­con­tent as trend­ing cam­paign is­sues. Bas­ing their ideas around ex­pe­ri­ences in Aus­tralia, the plan calls for the cre­ation of a stan­dard­iza­tion of skills which are in de­mand by in­dus­trial and ser­vice sec­tors and the use of gov­ern­ment in­sti­tu­tional sup­port and fund­ing to put new job seek­ers or those cur­rently un­em­ployed through skills ac­cred­i­ta­tion plans.

‘Power vouch­ers’

Un­der her plan, Hung pro­posed co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the Min­istry of La­bor, the Min­istry of Eco­nomic Af­fairs and busi­nesses in or­der to de­velop a sys­tem­atic skill stan­dard in the short term. She specif­i­cally named web, telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions and cre­ative in­dus­tries as hav­ing man­power short­ages, and that a mech­a­nism for es­tab­lish­ing tech­ni­cal skills in in­for­mat­ics, cloud com­put­ing and soft­ware en­gi­neer­ing needed to be es­tab­lished quickly.

In or­der to fa­cil­i­tate the in­crease in cer­ti­fi­able and in­dus­try re­quired skills, the pro­posal calls for the dis­tri­bu­tion of “power vouch­ers” that will give young peo­ple “full­ride” ac­cess to train­ing cour­ses that will al­low them to ob­tain cer­ti­fi­ca­tions and job place­ments that will be guar­an­teed for a min­i­mum NT$40,000 a month start­ing wage. Vouch­ers would be pri­or­i­tized for those un­der 39 and un­em­ployed for 13 weeks.

Fund­ing Source

Hung pro­poses amend­ing por­tions of the Em­ploy­ment In­sur­ance Act ( ) to fund the train­ing and place­ment pro­grams out­lined in the Em­pow­er­ment Plan. Specif­i­cally, it would en­tail in­creas­ing an­nual em­ploy­ment in­sur­ance premi­ums al­lo­cated for job train­ing for both the em­ployed and un­em­ployed from the cur­rent 10 per­cent to 20 per­cent.

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