Shanghai woos migrant workers as it faces workforce shortage

08:20, February 11, 2011      

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Government departments in Shanghai City had erected light posts at the railway station to provide job information to migrant workers as some enterprises in the city face workforce shortages.

At the center of the square in front of the Shanghai railway station, two 10-meter-high LED displays highlight job advertisements to thousands of migrant workers who just returned from their hometowns after the Spring Festival holiday that ended Tuesday.

Along with the slogan, "People from all over the country are welcome to participate in the construction of Shanghai," there is also detailed information about four job service centers for migrant workers on the posts.

Job advertisements were also posted near several exits, which provide the same information.

Ye Jiang, a migrant worker from east China's Anhui Province, was looking over the information on a post near the station exit while dragging a luggage case behind him.

"Many of my fellow villagers used to pay private agencies to find jobs," Ye told reporters. "These government institutions providing free job information are reliable and I am going to inquire," he said.

"The effect of the post advertisements in the railway station was obvious since there were a number of people coming to look for jobs over the last couple of days," Zhang Yanhua, the deputy director for a job service center in Jiading district, told Xinhua.

More than 200 migrant workers came to the center to look for jobs on Wednesday, which is the first working day after the seven-day holiday that started on Feb.2, said Zhang.

He added that the center received another 150 migrant workers on Thursday, in spite of the rain.

The light posts were put up jointly by the Shanghai Municipal Employment Management Center for Outsiders (SMEMCO) and the Human Resources and Social Security Bureau of Zhabei District in order to improve service to migrant workers.

"Migrant workers will be able to obtain information about the employment service centers as soon as they step out of the railway station," said Ding Feng, deputy director of SMEMCO.

Ding added that another reason to attract migrant workers is that some enterprises in Shanghai are facing workforce shortages.

According to a survey conducted last year involving 700 companies in Shanghai, it was estimated that the city was facing a workforce shortage of 150,000 personnel.

In order to attract migrant workers, the companies need to raise wages and improve work environments, Ding said. He added that the government should also provide better services for migrant workers.

Source: Xinhua
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