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Shanxi city cultivates thousands of care workers

By CHENG SI | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2024-02-29 08:58
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Kang Haibing, 51, was among 85 care workers from Shanxi province who returned to jobs in Beijing and Qingdao, a coastal city in East China's Shandong province, after their Spring Festival holidays.

Kang earned just 2,000 yuan ($277) a month at a supermarket in his hometown before he joined a 20-day care worker training program, organized by Lyuliang's city government, in 2019.

"The training was free of charge and I got my job at Shandong Zijin Healthcare Co in Qingdao in 2019," he said. "I've nursed over 40 patients in the past few years and my income is three times what it was in my previous job at the supermarket."

In 2021, Lyuliang launched a five-year plan to produce highly skilled care workers to consolidate the results of poverty alleviation work and vitalize the countryside, with the policy also aiming to promote employment and create a labor service brand for the city.

The plan aims to give entry-level nursing training to 60,000 people by next year and have another 10,000 care workers improve their nursing skills.

It also set targets for employment — 30,000 in Shanxi, 20,000 in other provincial-level areas, and 100 overseas — with labor services to generate revenue of over 2.5 billion yuan a year by the end of 2025.

Lyuliang's city government said about 100,414 people had finished training by December and 53,086 people had received preliminary job offers from companies in 13 provincial-level areas such as Beijing, Guangdong and Zhejiang. It has been cooperating with 428 domestic services companies nationwide to channel job openings to care workers.

Kang said his first patient was an old man with mobility issues who had a bad temper because of a long illness.

"I kept him company days and nights and told him funny stories," he said. "He loved the saxophone and I often took him to the seaside to play the saxophone. He started to show me a more mild temper after I took care of him for half a month."

Kang said he had received a lot of recognition from patients and their families, and he was happy to earn more money.

"My family was in poor financial condition and I had to borrow money when my parents were ill," he said, adding that he would encourage others in his hometown to follow in his footsteps.

Peng Ke'er in Taiyuan contributed to this story.

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