China etched in details of plans to help workers laid off from the bloated coal and steel industries, saying assistance would include career counseling, early retirement and help in starting businesses, among other measures.
New guidelines released by seven Chinese ministries over the weekend build on previously announced commitments to restructure the coal and steel industries, whose excess production is dragging on the economy, and to take care of an estimated 1.8 million workers who will be displaced. The new measures place priority on finding jobs and cushioning the transition to reduce the unemployment that the authoritarian government sees as a threat to social stability.
“Proper placement of workers is the key to working to resolve excess capacity,” said the document issued by the labor ministry, the top economic planning agency and others. It urged local governments to “take timely measures to resolve conflicts” and to “avoid ignoring the issue.”
Among the measures outlined in the document include early-retirement benefits for those within five years of mandatory retirement—generally age 60 for men and 55 for women—job fairs at companies with at least 100 laid off workers and help in relocating unemployed workers to areas with more job opportunities. Training, seed funding and consulting services would be provided for those interested in starting their own businesses, with the self-employed and newly registered companies eligible for tax relief, preferential loans and other support.
The plan also calls for policies to create more employment demand, including providing financial and other support for companies that create high-tech, Internet-related or higher-value industrial products and services. The plan doesn’t address the skills mismatch between aging coal and steelworkers and the demands of higher-tech jobs.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at China Makes Plans for 1.8 Million Workers Facing Unemployment – WSJ See also Beijing Plans To Aid Sacked Chinese Steel And Coal Workers – Finance News – London South East