China will maintain a proactive policy on employment by providing diversified skills training, encouraging entrepreneurship and restructuring inefficient industries, in order to boost both the number of jobs created and the overall quality of the workforce.
The State Council’s executive meeting on Jan 18 presided over by Premier Li Keqiang approved a new five-year program on employment (2016—20).
“Employment is vital to people’s livelihood and provides core support for developing our economy,” Premier Li said. “The importance of employment cannot be overstated.”
Priorities are to be placed on unleashing market potential and enhancing policy implementation.
China’s economic transition carries huge potential for jobs, as new economic driving forces are growing with strong momentum, calling for immense efforts to keep the skill and talent pool improving with economic upgrading.
The new plan offers a set of measures that will help with such a move.
Emerging industries, not least services sectors that facilitate everyday life and productive activities, will play a bigger role in creating jobs.
Enhanced efforts will be made to boost mass innovation and entrepreneurship for job creation. Start-ups will deal with lower institutional costs and a more enabling market environment. New jobs will be more flexible, but offer no less security.
More diversified training will be provided to workers affected by curbing outdated capacity industries.
The new plan also puts more stress on building a long-term, systematic approach to job creation, and the government pledges to work more with market forces to guide job creation.
While China successfully withstood challenges in phasing out excess capacity and industrial upgrading, employment across the country remained steady in 2016. Recent figures from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security show that the country managed to create jobs for more than 13 million urban population in 2016.
The Premier said that equal emphasis is required in developing new economic driving forces and upgrading traditional sectors, stressing that it is a whole-of-government effort.
“With jobs, there is income, and hence a basis for innovation, stability and development. We want a sound momentum forward, and sound jobs are a start,” Premier Li said.