The country's work authorities will soon launch a job-training program to help the unemployed start their own businesses, Labor and Social Security Vice-Minister Zhang Xiaojian said yesterday.
The program will operate in 100 cities, and the trainees will include not only laid-off workers, but also college graduates and rural migrants, according to the ministry.
The ministry has given the participating cities until next month to work out implementation plans to allow the program to kick off within the year.
The program obliges each city to train 1,500 people a year in the hope that at least half of them can set up their own businesses within six months and that at least 80 percent of such businesses will operate for more than a year.
The program draws inspiration from an older job-training program called the Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB) jointly organized by the ministry and the International Labor Organization. Of the 760,000 trainees who took part in that program, 60 percent of them have set up their own businesses and created nearly 2 million jobs.
The SIYB started in July 2004 and ended yesterday.
Such programs are part of the authorities' efforts to raise living standards for vulnerable groups, especially the unemployed, in the country's growing cities.
The monthly minimum living subsidy for urban areas was raised by 15 yuan ($1.98) earlier last week to cover 22 million low-income city people.
And by next month, a pilot version of a basic medical insurance scheme will be launched in 79 major cities. If it proves successful, the program will benefit more than 200 million urban residents outside the workforce by 2010.
(China Daily 08/13/2007 page2)