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Private Firms Encouraged to Offer Jobs to Laid-offs
Nearly 200 private companies Tuesday offered some 4,000 job opportunities at an employment fairto redundant workers from State-owned enterprises in Shaoxing, in the southeastern province of Zhejiang where the private economy is booming.

Li Dahua, an official from the provincial Bureau of Industry and Commerce, said Shaoxing is not alone in hosting such job fairs. Another 10 cities in Zhejiang have also held the fairs, offering at least 15,000 jobs for laid-off workers.

The ten-day province-wide event is organized by the bureau, provincial Individual Laborers Association and provincial Private Enterprises Association. Vacancies include cotton spinners, cooks and housekeepers.

Tao Xiaoying, general manager of a housekeeping service company in Hangzhou that offers 277 jobs, said their efforts demonstrate the private sector's awareness of social responsibility.

Since 1997, the bureau has been dedicated to helping laid-off workers find jobs. In the last five years, private companies in this prosperous province have provided 523,900 jobs for those made redundant by State-owned enterprises.

Local governments have set up information offices, databases and hot-lines for re-employment services. In Jinhua, an experimental zone has been set up for laid-off workers to try out their selling skills at booths offered free of charge.

(Xinhua News Agency February 19, 2003)

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