Urging national jobs platform to match migrants, vacancies DESPITE the government's call to urgently promote employment of migrant workers, many migrants still find it hard to land satisfactory jobs.
Meanwhile, however, many enterprises are having difficulty finding migrant workers suitable for their job vacancies.
The lack of a nationwide platform for effective information sharing between workers and employers is largely to blame.
At least 20 million migrant workers have been reported to be jobless in the current economic downturn.
Today, over 75 percent of migrant workers still depend on their relatives and friends to find jobs for them, as Shen Changfu pointed out at the annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC) early last month.
Shen is an NPC delegate as well as general manager of the Chongqing branch, China Mobile Communications Corp.
A survey by China Mobile some time ago showed that only 10 percent of the migrant worker population had found jobs through government assistance or help from the human resources market, he said.
Today there are thousands of registered employment services but most are small and can provide only limited help to migrants.
Few provide trans-regional job referral services to migrants, said Li Jiuxin, president of China Digital Interactive Media (China DIM) in an interview with Shanghai Daily.
In view of the disproportion between job referrals for migrants and the huge potential in the human resources market, the company has established a Xilu Labor Club that provides a national platform for referrals.
Starting business last year, the club provides free services for migrant job seekers while charging the employers that seek to recruit migrants.
It launched a TV program under the same name in 22 provinces, guiding migrants to better work and life in cities other than their hometowns.
Migrant workers who want to find jobs simply register by dialing the phone number displayed in the program. The club then searches job vacancies in registered companies and matches the two.
Many migrants find the service useful.
Wu Xiaoxin, a woman in her 20s from Henan Province, has just found a job as a masseuse in a massage center called China Liangtse in Henan. She received two-months' training paid by the employer.
The monthly salary for the job is about 2,000 yuan (US$293), 400-500 yuan higher than her former jobs, she told Shanghai Daily.
"Finding a job through the club is convenient and quick," she said. The match took just three days after she dialed in.
Ban Guirong, a woman in her 40s from Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, has found a satisfactory job as an ayi for a family in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province.
"I feel safer when I find a job through the club," Ban told Shanghai Daily. The club ensures that the employer buys social insurance for her and pays her monthly salary on time.
So far the club has attracted 600,000 migrant workers and more than 5,000 enterprises. Only 10 percent of the workers have found jobs through the club and less than 20 percent of the job vacancies have been filled, said Li Jiuxin.
This is both because some migrants' expectations are too high and some lack required skills.
The club is now negotiating with many training centers to provide short-term training services to migrants to improve their job skills.
It is impossible for one club to make a big dent in the problem.
Li urges more government support to set up a nationwide human resources market for migrants.
"The government should regulate the market by enacting relevant laws and regulations, setting a reasonable market-access mechanism and letting the market solve the rest of the problems," said Li.
Healthy market competition will automatically drive out bad job intermediary institutions, he said. He expected better information sharing between all employment service institutions and governments at all levels. A better nationwide platform will naturally ease the unemployment problem.
(Shanghai Daily April 9, 2009)