'Capital still needs migrant workforce'

Updated: 2011-02-23 14:00

By Wang Wen (China Daily)

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More than 56,000 job vacancies, including 37,000 for unskilled workers, are available to migrants in Beijing, it was revealed on Tuesday.

Although recent media reports suggest the capital plans to reduce the number of low-skilled laborers this year to control the population, officials at the Human Resources and Social Security Bureau insisted the group still make up a vital part of the workforce.

To fill the positions, authorities will hold 134 job fairs for skilled and unskilled migrants. "The service industry needs migrant workers as housekeepers, nurses and security guards. There's rigid demand," said Song, a director with Beijing Job Center who did not want to be identified.

Despite ongoing industrial restructuring, demand for unskilled workers remains high. According to the Beijing Administration for Industry and Commerce, there are 17 "low-end trades", including grocery shops and restaurants.

Plumber Ma Zheng'en, 42, who hails from Baoding in Hebei province, said he does not believe the government will prevent migrants from working in downtown areas.

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"My wife has been a property manager at a residence near the East Second Ring Road for years and she is doing well. People like us should be able to continue working if we do our job well," Ma said, before getting on a bus bound for a construction site in Shunyi district.

Song at the job center said industrial restructuring will mean some workers will be excluded, but assured they will have alternative options. "Maybe the demand for migrant workers will decrease but the city still has difficulty with labor recruitment," he said.

He added that, to ease the problem, authorities will set up labor export bases in other provinces and cities, allowing migrants to get job information in their hometowns.


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