SHANGHAI: Creating more jobs, providing better care services to senior citizens and improving educational facilities for migrant workers' children, are some of the "10 practical projects" the city's municipal government hopes to complete in 2009, a top government official said Thursday.
"We are trying to offer more public service and social security to Shanghai's disadvantaged groups. When we were studying the 10 projects, people's livelihood was the main focus," Shanghai government spokesman Chen Qiwei said.
More resources will be shifted toward the rural areas and a scientific approach that features coordinated development of urban and rural areas will be adopted, he said.
Resources to finance the 10 projects have been secured, he said.
"Nine out of 10 practical projects of 2008 were completed, which won the government 83.85 percent marks in terms of residents' satisfaction, a little higher than the previous year," he said.
Amid a gloomy job market haunted by the global economic downturn, Shanghai plans to create 500,000 new jobs this year, with 100,000 for farmers-turned-laborers. About 100,000 migrant workers will be trained on occupational skills, and 98 percent of rural residents will be covered in the city's pension program, Chen said.
"The employment pressure this year is challenging," he said, adding about 158,000 fresh graduates will enter the job market this year, 9,000 higher than 2008.
The goal of creating 500,000 new jobs will be achieved in four quarters. "For instance, 150,000 new positions will be available between January and March," he said
Besides, the government plans to offer 210,000 senior citizens with community- or home-based care services, while allocating allowances to 126,000 elderly people who can't make ends meet.
"Some 10,000 new beds will be added in old-age homes, in addition to 50 new daycare centers and 100 community dining service outlets," Chen said.