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Young job seekers expect more than just wages

By Yu Ran  (China Daily)

13:28, February 21, 2013

Young migrant workers are better educated and informed than their predecessors, and are becoming more demanding in terms of working conditions and other incentives, according to a survey by one of China's largest online recruitment platforms.

As well as higher salaries, migrant workers now demand better living facilities, regular entertainment activities and better social welfare, the survey by recruitment site revealed.

Interviewing 14,096 migrant workers from all over the country, it found more are looking to work and set up home in larger cities.

They also tend to change jobs frequently, with 79 percent of respondents considering a change this year, and 26 percent saying they wanted to find a role which was better paid.

Commenting on the survey findings, Yuan Liang, an administrator at An De Men Migrant Workers Job Market in Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu province, said he had certainly witnessed a rise in expectations by migrant workers.

"The new generation requires a minimum wage of 2,500 yuan ($400) per month, social insurance, two-days off per week, regular entertainment events, free air-conditioned accommodation with television, and dining services."

Yuan added the Job Market has helped about 800 workers find new jobs over the past three days, a rate about 15 percent higher than last year.

"More enterprises have realized that young migrant workers want to work in better conditions with beneficial incentives, and have had to raise their offers to attract applicants," Yuan added.

Frequent job-changing by employees was highlighted particularly in the survey, which showed 62 percent of 5,274 companies interviewed said holding onto staff remains the biggest recruitment challenge.

The survey showed that 34 percent of enterprises choose to provide professional training courses as an incentive to staff, and 27 percent said they had recently raised salaries.

Zhang Guanjin, the manager of Shaoxing Jinyong Textile Co, told China Daily on Wednesday, "Our turnover rate for low-skilled workers is about 30 percent, and we have to hire new workers as a daily task as there are people leaving all the time."

Zhang added that his company also provides monthly training for management employees, and tries to raise the wages of all workers every quarter, depending on the profits made by the enterprise.

Liu Bin, a 25-year-old migrant worker from Shandong province, is looking for a job using the recruitment site, who thinks the prospects being offered by a company are more important than the wages.

Lui was working as an electric welder in a small factory in Qingpu district of Shanghai, but left there before Spring Festival.

"I obtained my electric welder certificate in 2007 to earn a higher wage and now I am looking for a better, more stable position," said Liu, who earned at least 4,000 yuan a month without any social insurance. He has been going to job fairs in the morning and working in the afternoons as a porter making 70 to 80 yuan per day.

Liu's requirements for his new job are to work in a well-known company as an electric welder, receiving a steadily increasing wage, fully-paid social insurance, regular holidays and good accommodation facilities, including meals.

"I've got two interviews to go this week, including one with Hitachi, a company I have always dreamed of working for," said Liu.

Liu added that if he fails to find a job by the end of the month, he will return to the small factory.

Wang Yong, a 24-year-old migrant worker from Guizhou province, is also working at a factory in Shanghai.

"I am tired of working in the dreary environment of a factory earning only 2,500 yuan per month," Wang told China Daily.

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