Shenzhen began providing two years of free job training for newly discharged members of the armed forces Thursday, becoming one of the first group of Guangdong cities to do so.
Li Hongzhong, the city's Party chief, attended a ceremony marking the beginning of the program Thursday at Shenzhen Skilled Workers' School, where most of the new veterans will receive training.
About 80 percent of the 450 veterans who were discharged last year have joined the training program, according to the municipal labor and social security bureau.
The veterans will receive training in automobile maintenance, animation design, logistics management and cooking.
The municipal government will pay each trainee at least 7,000 yuan (US$897) annually to cover his or her tuition, accommodation and examination fees, and guarantee each veteran a job after graduation.
"In a survey conducted in August among soldiers who joined army in 2004, only 18.2 percent of them are willing to be trained. But most of them changed idea after we promoted the program," said a source with the labor and social security bureau.
In the past, veterans were entitled to only three to six months of free job training.
The program was launched throughout Guangdong Province simultaneously Thursday. Guangdong is the only province offering two-year free job training for veterans.
(Shenzhen Daily March 2, 2007)