Authorities in Shenzhen are looking to attract 560,000 workers from rural areas of Guangdong over the next five years in a bid to counter rising labor costs, a provincial official said on Tuesday.
"Shenzhen's ambitious plan is part of the province's double transfer strategy," Lin Yingwu, deputy director of the Guangdong labor and social security department.
"Other cities in the delta region will follow suit," he said
The aim of the strategy is to attract workers to the manufacturing centers of the Pearl River Delta, as well as relocating some production bases to areas with large workforces in a bid to reduce soaring labor costs, he said.
Four industrial parks, funded by the Shenzhen and local governments, have already been built in rural areas of Guangdong, the Nanfang Daily reported recently.
Shenzhen has signed labor cooperation agreements with 14 rural cities, and on Monday, 128 employers from the city offered about 40,000 vacancies, with monthly salaries ranging from 1,300 yuan ($190) to 2,500 yuan, Lin said.
Labor departments in Shenzhen and the 14 cities will work together to improve communications and facilitate the movement of workers, Guan Lingen, director of the Shenzhen labor and social security bureau, said.
Also, online interviews will be held wherever possible to eliminate travel costs, he said.
Li Qingqing, an associate professor of economics at South China Normal University, said the double transfer strategy will be beneficial to all the cities involved.
"Under the plan, delta boomtowns will no longer need to worry about the shortfall of laborers, while the growing rural population will be able to find better ways to make a living," she said.
(China Daily August 28, 2008)