China will hold re-employment training programs for at least 4 million laid-off workers and 6 million unemployed workers from 2001 to 2003, the Ministry of Labor and Social Security has said.
The project "Training 10 million people in three years" is aimed at helping laid-off and unemployed workers to master professional skills. The government will pay all or most of the training and tuition fees.
Unemployment is a serious factor threatening social order. Statistics from the ministry show that by last autumn there were 6.67 million laid-off workers from the country’s state-owned enterprises.
“A lack of professional skills is the main problem unemployed and laid-off workers have in seeking jobs,” said Li Zhanwu, deputy director of the professional training office of the ministry.
This is the second time such a project has been launched. In 1998, the ministry kicked off this project, and the results have been remarkable.
By the third quarter of 2000, 12 million laid-off and unemployed workers - 2 million more than had been forecast - had undergone training programs ranging from cooking and hair-dressing to public relations, law and marketing.
Among those receiving training, 7.8 million people, or 65 percent, found new jobs.
In some places, such as Shanghai and Jiangsu, non-governmental institutions joined forces with local authorities in the project. They were selected by successfully bidding to local governments and given a sum of money to provide high-quality training courses for laid-off and unemployed workers.
(China Daily 01/30/2001)