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China Launches Massive Training Plan for Migrant Workers

China is launching an ambitious plan to offer training to its big contingent of migrant workers in the next few years to help with their employment.  

According to a plan issued here Sunday by the State Council, during the three years from 2003 to 2005, about 10 million potential migrant workers, surplus rural labor force, will receive basic training before their transfer. Among them, half will receive additional professional training. Meanwhile, another 50 million migrant workers already working in cities will undergo job training.


In the second stage from 2006 to 2010, basic training will be carried out for 50 million potential migrant workers, among which,30 million are expected to receive additional professional training. Also, job training will be conducted for another existing 200 million migrant workers.


According to the plan, the basic training is expected to inform potential migrant workers of the basics, including safeguarding their rights and interests, knowledge of laws and regulations, common knowledge of life in the city, and job hunting skills.


With regard to professional training, focus will be put on sectors like housekeeping service, restaurant business, hotel service, health care, construction and manufacturing.


Expenses will be jointly shared by the government, the working units and the migrant workers themselves, said the plan, which demands special funds be allotted for this end by both the central government and local governments at all levels.


The working units are duty bound to offer training to migrant workers they employ, states the plan, which specifies that 1.5 percent of the accumulated amount of workers' salary, used as training expense, could be deducted from their taxable income.


Also as an encouragement, qualified educational institutions can apply for assisting funds to carry out training for migrant workers and those who take part can enjoy subsidies and rewards.


China, currently with 150 million surplus rural laborers, facesan arduous task to transfer this part of labor force into the non-agricultural sector.


Statistics show that among the entire rural labor force, only 9.1 percent have received relevant professional training. Among the newly transferred rural labor force in 2001, the ratio stood at 18.6 percent.


With the ever increasing economic development and the emergenceof new industries, it is getting more and more difficult for the rural labor force, which lacks basic professional skills, to seek employment.


(Xinhua News Agency September 29, 2003)

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