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[CHINA DAILY]State Council looks to ensure employment for nation’s youth
2022-03-30 08:14:10
612 次浏览
来源:CHINA DAILY
编辑:曾 慧

With a historic number of college graduates and mounting economic pressure, China is scaling up job creation measures this year, creating more government-sponsored internships and extending support to workers on flexible payrolls.

The State Council, China’s Cabinet, has outlined a host of measures to stabilize the job market, pledging to create at least 11 million new jobs this year and keep the urban unemployment rate around 5.5 percent.

The government will prioritize expanding employment, strive to stabilize the job market by increasing support for companies and abolish unreasonable barriers that hinder people from finding jobs and starting businesses, the State Council said in a statement that laid out the division of work for key tasks in the 2022 Government Work Report.

China will devote 100 billion yuan ($15.7 billion) from the national unemployment insurance fund to help businesses maintain stable payrolls and provide training programs.

The country is set to embrace a record 10.76 million new college graduates this year, 1.67 million more than last year. Meanwhile, some economists have highlighted the headwinds the economy is facing due to recent COVID-19 outbreaks and possible disruptions to global trade caused by the Ukraine crisis.

Zeng Xiangquan, director of the China Institute for Employment Research at Renmin University of China in Beijing, said steady economic growth is key to stabilizing the job market.

“The creation of new jobs hinges on economic growth, which is spurred by more investment, consumer spending and foreign trade. It is important for governments at various levels to implement an employment-first policy and carefully evaluate the influence of other policies on the job market before rolling them out,” he said.

He noted that an ongoing survey conducted by his institution from late 2021 has found sustained pressure on the job market, adding that it would require intensified measures from the government this year to meet national job creation goals.

According to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics, China created a total of 1.63 million new urban jobs in January and February. The surveyed unemployment rate for rural migrant workers was 5.6 percent, while the rate for people age 16 to 24 stood at 15.3 percent.

In a news conference earlier this month, Premier Li Keqiang said that a record 16 million people, including college graduates and military veterans, are expected to look for jobs in urban areas this year.

The government will provide more training opportunities and encourage more individuals to commit themselves to entrepreneurship and innovation to foster new growth engines, he said.

To build up the capacity of college graduates in the job market, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, along with nine other central government departments, jointly unveiled a plan to create at least 1 million internships for young people, especially graduates.

The plan is expected to cover employers who are willing to hire graduates and unemployed youth. The primary beneficiaries of the program will be graduates who haven’t found jobs within two years of leaving school and jobless youth aged 16 to 24.

The government will offer incentives, including subsidies for employers who create internships. Subsidies will be even higher if interns are hired. Tax incentives, including deductions to corporate taxes, will also be rolled out.

Zeng said the plan marked the latest government effort to resolve the mismatch between the skills of young people and employer demands, a major cause of the high youth unemployment rate.

“While many young people are unable to find satisfactory jobs, a large number of employers, especially those in the manufacturing sector, are faced with labor shortages,” he said.

He said the plan to create 1 million internships could help mitigate the problem as it could help employers find their ideal candidates.

“For many employers, there are qualities that are more important than educational background, such as a sense of responsibility and a spirit of teamwork,” he said.

Wang Ting, a professor who has conducted research on youth employment at China University of Political Science and Law, said creating more internships will give students a better understanding of the workplace and moderate expectations during the job hunting process.

It is also important for college students to consider developing skills that would better serve emerging sectors, such as artificial intelligence and the ongoing national green transitioning, to broaden their prospects in the job market, he said.

He highlighted the need for colleges to adjust majors in line with actual employment needs to help graduates excel in the job market.

He Shanshan, a postgraduate student at University of Science and Technology Beijing, said finding a job was not difficult for most of her peers, but landing an ideal offer is by no means easy.

He, who is majoring in mechanical engineering and graduates in June, said she has only obtained one offer from a foreign company so far, and was not sure if she would find a better one.

“I wish I had spent more time on job hunting last year,” she said. “The fact is, the more time you spend on it, the greater odds you have in landing a satisfactory offer.”

She explained that a sizable number of her fellow students have decided to find jobs at internet companies, which generally pay higher salaries, while few decided to follow their educational background to the manufacturing sector, where payment is lower.

The importance of increasing social security measures for workers on flexible payrolls, such as ride-hail drivers and food delivery workers, was also underscored by officials and experts.

For these workers, who number over 200 million, the State Council will improve benefits by enhancing social security coverage and implementing occupational injury insurance, among other things, to better protect them.

Zeng said the promotion of this kind of insurance is a pressing matter, as the risk of injury in traffic accidents is higher for flexible workers.

“Over the longer term, it is equally important to ensure that all these workers are covered by social security to ensure their jobs are stable and guarantee them a brighter future,” he said.

原文链接:[CHINA DAILY]State Council looks to ensure employment for nation’s youth

(责任编辑:周思媛)