The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's legislature, began examination today of the draft law on employment promotion.
"A law on employment promotion is urgently needed given our current situation," said Minister of Labor and Social Security Tian Chengping when briefing the lawmakers on the country's employment situation today.
According to Tian, China's present employment figures are disappointingly low and the long-term outlook is not "optimistic." Statistics show that at least 13 million new job opportunities need to be annually created in urban areas for laid-off workers, university graduates, demobilized servicemen, and migrant workers.
The draft law states that China will implement coordinated employment policies in both urban and rural areas to provide equal employment opportunities for the labor force. Under new regulations, governments above the county level will be required to establish an early warning system to prevent, regulate and control possible cases of large-scale unemployment.
An important stipulation prohibits discrimination against job seekers on account of ethnicity, race, gender, religious belief, age, or physical disability. The law also states that government-run employment service agencies must provide free services to the labor force and are prohibited from commercial operations.
The draft law has a special chapter on boosting professional training, requiring governments above the county level to support vocational schools, other professional training organizations and employers to launch pre-employment training, on-the-job training and reemployment training.
Governments above the county level should provide some professional training for students who fail to enter university or senior high school, so that they can grasp some skills and even obtain some occupational qualification certificates.
The draft law requires relevant departments to further increase financial investment in employment promotion, encourage enterprises and companies to recruit the unemployed, guide university graduates to work in under-developed areas, and make detailed research on the labor market.
The three-day 26th meeting of the 10th NPC Standing Committee opened today.
(Xinhua News Agency February 26, 2007)