Full employment is the basis of happiness

By Zhou Qing and Chai Hua (China Daily)
Updated: 2011-04-27 10:18
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Full employment is the basis of happiness
Children of rural people who work in cities are expected to get
the same education opportunities as children of urban workers. Photos provided to China Daily

In response to a statement by the Chinese premier this year that employment needs to be given priority in economic development, Hunan province is doing just that and has increased employment rates under this Five-Year Plan (2006-2010).

In following Wen Jiabao's idea and putting policy into practice, the Hunan people's congress passed a "Procedures for Implementing the Employment Promotion Act", describing the exact employment services.

Over the past five years, the provincial government has developed projects that increase employment, and has spent 13.56 billion yuan ($2.09 billion) on subsidies.

It provided 3.35 million new urban jobs and moved more than 4 million rural people to jobs in other places. It is the first province to achieve zero-unemployment among urban families, in central China.

Hunan now has nine key higher-level vocational high schools and 81 key secondary vocational high schools. The city government of Changsha, capital of Hunan, has spent 1.48 billion yuan on a vocational education center. Another 4.5 billion yuan has been spent on a vocational science park in Zhuzhou.

The city of Xiangtan has worked with local civil affairs, human resources, finance, and education departments in providing free training and employment programs for military veterans.

The training covers practical skills, such as auto repairs, electrical equipment installation and maintenance, animal husbandry, crop planting and agricultural product processing.

The graduates get a recommendation from the training school, which is instrumental in finding a satisfactory job, according to the government. Some graduates even start their own businesses.

One such grad, Liu Bing, a veteran from the town of Shitan, is even considered a sort of model: "After being demobbed in 2008, I was totally lost about the future because I didn't have any skills."

But, Liu was able to study vehicle repairs at a government training school and has now opened his own garage where he makes a respectable income.

One other government plan - order-oriented education - has provided a successful solution to the problem of farmers without enough land.

One industrial zone in the city of Zhuzhou began using this order-oriented approach for poorer farmers, whose land had been taken for the zone, in September, 2010.

It is expected to retrain 3,200 farmers over a three-year period then recommend them for work in companies in the zone.

Wen Wang, a farmer in a village near Zhuzhou, said he was satisfied with the program, "The training gave us an opportunity to get professional skills and assured us of a better life after leaving our land."

Each year, more than 1.5 million rural laborers get free training. Even though they have lost their land, the training sees to it that they can still benefit. At the same time, the training provides more trained people for the enterprises in the industrial zone.

The decision makers in the Hunan government say they believe that people's livelihood is based on employment, and that increasing the financial and material input in employment will increase their happiness. So, the government will continue developing employable skills and professional training on a larger scale.