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China Eyes Higher Labor Quality to Spur Growth
Source: news.cn
Source Date: Thursday, July 31, 2014
Focus: ICT for MDGs
Country: China
Created: Aug 05, 2014

Government's decision to provide more vocational trainings to migrant workers will not only increase their incomes, but also nurture a high quality work force that is vital to China's economic upgrading, analysts said.

A State Council executive meeting held on Wednesday said services for migrant workers will be improved, including more training courses covering job skills.

Through more investment, students who fail to enter senior high schools or colleges will continue to receive education at vocational schools.

"The meeting stressed improving labor quality," said Zheng Dongliang, dean of the Institute of Labor Science. "It will help migrants find better jobs, and meanwhile, it is important to improve the quality and performance of the economy."

More than 270 million rural migrants work in cities and towns, accounting for a major part of China's industrial workers.

Yang Zhiming, vice minister of human resources and social security, said about one third of migrant workers received government-subsidized skills training.

According to a plan to speed up training, government programs aim to cover at least 20 million migrant workers each year starting from now, Yang said.

By 2020, all migrant workers will receive training, with more becoming skilled workers, and some advancing to technicians.

China's economy has slowed from the double-digit pace in the past decades. It grew 7.5 percent year on year in the second quarter, slightly picking up from 7.4 percent in the first.

Various ways are being sought to ensure sustained steady expansion, including economic upgrading and a shift to a consumption-driven growth model.

With better job opportunities, rural migrants can stay in cities and live a decent life, Zheng said. That will boost consumption and skilled workers will help Chinese industries move up the value chain.

Zhu Qibiao, deputy head of the Institute of Rural Development under Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences, said some courses like brand building or marketing can also be included in training to give migrants a wider perspective.

The training in itself is a chance for rural migrants to exchange ideas with more people and find more opportunities, Zhu said.

The State Council meeting also said more help will be offered to migrants so they enjoy equal access to services such as pension, medical care and housing.

The combined moves will help rural migrants become urbanites, thus speeding up the country's urbanization process, a major impetus for China's growth, said Zheng.

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