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China unveils plans to help laid-off steel, coal workers

Updated: Apr 17,2016 9:25 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China’s ministries on April 16 unveiled general plans to help people laid off from the steel and coal industries, which are in the midst of overcapacity cut.

The “suggestions” on relocating redundant workers were jointly released by seven ministries including the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, and the National Development and Reform Commission.

In addition to the help given to redundant staff, support will be offered to firms who create new jobs by adopting the “Internet Plus” strategy, developing new industrial fields and products, and expanding domestic and overseas market, according to the document.

A “back-to-work” program should be created so that workers receive training and career guidance for free, and, for those who want to start their own businesses, channels that will give them access to government support, it said.

Local authorities should also enhance trans-regional cooperation to relocate redundant workers to regions with employment opportunities.

To switch from an investment-led model to one that relies on domestic consumption, services and innovation, China is slashing industrial overcapacity, mainly in the coal and steel sectors.

According to preliminary forecast by the human resources ministry, the two sectors will see a combined laid-off workers totaling 1.8 million.

To cushion the effect of job losses on families and society, the central government decided to allocate 100 billion yuan ($15.4 billion) to help the laid-off workers find new jobs. The fund can be increased if necessary and local governments should handle their responsibilities accordingly, Premier Li Keqiang said in March.

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