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Migrant Workers to Receive Vocational Training
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One million migrant workers will be given vocational training each year over the next five years to meet the growing demand for skilled laborers in this booming city on the border with Hong Kong.

The Shenzhen Labor and Social Security Bureau plans to start the training this year.

The move comes as the supply of labor falls short of demand and while more firms look for well-trained or experienced workers.

Shenzhen, which has a large number of foreign-invested and private factories, has lost much of its competitiveness as farmers-turned-migrants are going to work in other cities or in areas closer to their homes.

Statistics indicate Shenzhen had more than 1 million jobs to fill in the second quarter of the year, but only 640,000 workers were recruited. With the city trying to enhance efficiency and with a growing number of high-tech firms, demand for trained migrant workers is growing.

It is expected that more than 90 percent of the migrant workers will receive certificates after training and more than 80 percent of them will win a contract of at least one year with employers. As a result, more than 60 percent of the migrant workers are expected to see their incomes grow.

The bureau will conduct a survey of the working environment of migrants in various industries and sectors. The survey will also cover the demand for training in manufacturing, construction, automobile maintenance and transportation. Other areas to be investigated include printing, tourism and retailing. The bureau will set up a database on the situation of migrant workers and their training needs.

The central and municipal governments will finance the training. This year, the central government alone is expected to spend 39 million yuan (US$4.88 million) on the scheme.

Enterprises using migrant workers can carry out their own training. After training, qualified workers can sign a contract for at least one year with the employer.

Training can also be conducted by vocational schools and training institutions that are recognized by the labor and social security department.

(China Daily September 4, 2006)

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