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Youths Take up Most New Vacancies

Young jobless people have surpassed local middle-aged laid-off workers to become the largest beneficiaries of Shanghai's newly created jobs, according to the Shanghai Labor and Social Security Bureau.

The city created 348,500 job opportunities in the first half of this year, 8 percent higher than the figure for the same period last year.

Nearly 40 percent, or 137,000 newly created vacancies, were taken up by the unemployed aged between 20 to 30.

Laid-off workers aged 40 to 50 accounted for just 26 percent, the bureau said.

"The rise in the number of young people getting reemployed indicates that a series of skills training programs launched by the government for the youth is having some effect," said Sheng Zuhuan of the bureau's employment division.

The bureau kicked off a youth vocational skills training plan last year, offering subsidized training courses, and free internship opportunities at big companies. It also launched six on-site skills training bases to enhance young unemployed people's professional competence.

Meanwhile, the city's strategy of focusing on the service sector also works in favor of youngsters, who are more suitable and competent to meet the demand for finance and business professionals, Sheng added.

About 95,000 youngsters were employed in the service sector this year, which is nearly half of the new professionals hired in the sector. Most middle-aged jobless were reemployed with government-subsidized jobs such as traffic assistants, environment inspection assistants and greenery workers.

Besides, the bureau said that local non-state-owned companies continued to be the biggest job providers this year.

Among jobs created this year, 73 percent came from foreign-invested companies, joint ventures or privately-owned firms, with the private sector continuing to top the list by providing up to 110,000 positions.

(Shanghai Daily July 21, 2005)

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