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Meeting the needs of migrant workers
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Evening school for migrant workers in Chongqing Municipality.


As part of efforts to help migrant workers adapt to city life, the municipality launched a worker occupational psychology and conduct research center last month to help find out the needs and habits of the workers.

The center is said to be the first of its kind in the country.

"Chongqing started planning for the center after the central government approved the establishment of an experimental zone for urban-rural comprehensive reform in the municipality last year," its labor market chief Lin Hao said.

The experimental zone in Chongqing is a pilot reform aimed at reducing the income gap between rural and urban areas and ensuring that farmers and migrant workers enjoy the same rights, public services and living conditions as urban residents.

Farmers-turned-migrant workers in the city, about 4.5 million in total, play a pivotal role in the construction of Chongqing, which has a population of 31 million.

But they face difficulties in employment and interpersonal skills because they are not confident enough, said Xia Lingxiang, dean of the Department of Psychology of Southwest University in Chongqing.

The center carries out studies on how to help migrants communicate with urban residents and become part of city life, said Xia, whose department is cooperating with the labor market in the move.

Since it started operations, the center has given large-scale, weekly lectures on issues pertaining to the psychology of migrant workers. It has also offered individual counseling sessions for migrants.

(China Daily April 16, 2008)

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