China invested 760 million yuan (US$100 million) in 2006 in providing free training for workers in its poverty-stricken areas, a senior poverty alleviation official said on Monday.
Fan Xiaojian, deputy chief of the State Council Leading Group for Poverty Alleviation, said the fund gave trainees nationwide the opportunity to receive free training that would normally cost them 400 to 1,000 yuan.
Fan made the remarks at a national exhibition showcasing the achievements of the Dewdrop Program. The program, launched in October 2006, aims to provide vocational training to five million people between 2006 and 2010 so that they can lead their families out of poverty, he said.
China has several training programs of this kind, the official said. From 2001 to 2006 a total of 5.18 million people took part in the training programs. About 90 percent of the two million people trained in 2005 and 2006 have found jobs, said Fan.
At the end of 2006 China had a total of 2,324 poverty-alleviation training bases that offer classes on agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry and others subjects in demand in the labor market, he said.
(Xinhua News Agency June 19, 2007)