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China to help millions of jobless migrant workers
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"The government is trying to encourage migrant workers to start their own businesses. Up to now, 560,000 migrant workers in Henan have created more than 110,000 enterprises, providing jobs for 2.2 million people," he said.

"We will also introduce more training and advice to help the jobless find work," he said. "The training will focus on farming, breeding fish and poultry raising."

His counterparts in the neighboring Hebei Province are also thinking about how to help its 410,000 migrant workers who have returned home earlier than normal.

For example, they were working towards preferential polices to help migrant workers gain capital, skills and land.

"We increased loans from 20,000 yuan to 50,000 yuan for people willing and qualified to start businesses," said Zhang Bing, an official with the Hebei Labor and Social Security Department.

In the provinces of Hubei, Yunnan, Jiangxi and Anhui, local governments held job fairs for recently returned migrant workers.

On Tuesday, more than 110 enterprises held a job fair in Kunming City, capital of the southwestern Yunnan Province. More than 1,000 jobs were available for migrant workers.

"We are making polices to help you overcome the current difficulties," read an official letter given to each job hunter at the fair. "Life will be better. Be confident."

In Chengdu City, capital of the southwestern Sichuan Province, the government planned to offer a training ticket worth 500 yuan (73 U.S.dollars) from January 4 to each migrant worker who had returned home.

"Holding the ticket, they can choose among more than 110 professional trainings provided by 230 organizations or companies," said Li Yongjie, director of Chengdu Labor Bureau.

"The training would be closely related to the quake-zone reconstruction, so that more than 100,000 migrant workers who had come back can find jobs in areas affected by the 8.0-magnitude earthquake this May," he said.

Besides the government's efforts, the support for job-hunting comes from individuals.

Zhou Qing, 22,a Guizhou University Press proofreader, spent nearly a month compiling a handbook for the homecoming migrant workers.

The 100,000-world handbook told a series of stories about how to hunt for a job, start a business, broaden knowledge and protect their rights by law.

"I used to be a migrant worker. Now I share their pain over losing jobs in large cities. I should do something for them," Zhou said. "A total of 7,000 copies have been printed and all of them would be distributed in public or sent to the rural areas where migrant workers could borrow them."

"It's well written and helpful," said Huang Yuying, a migrant worker who received the handbook at the Guiyang Railway Station.

As for Wang Pan, she was waiting for a phone call from Dongguan City.

"I gave my mobile phone number to the factory. I hope the boss will hire me again, but before the Spring Festival, it seems impossible," she said.

(Xinhua News Agency December 19, 2008)

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