China moves to stabilize employment via entrepreneurship

By Li Xinyi from People’s Daily
Chinese provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions have rolled out package of measures to stabilize employment, which was prioritized as a main task in their recently-released government work reports.
Entrepreneurship has created more jobs in recent years. In 2018, the fifth year China implemented its business system reform, the country perfected its business environment and backed up innovation and entrepreneurship by launching a series of reforms to facilitate access of market entities.
Over the years, the country reformed the registration system of registered capital, cut red tape for companies by integrating separate business licenses, and streamlined the approval process by separating business operation permits from business licenses.
Thanks to the favorable policies, a total of 83.524 million business entities were set up from 2014 to 2018, which means there were 47,300 start-ups each day on average.
In 2018 alone, an average of 58,900 business entities were registered every day, and the figure rose to 70,000 in December, laying a solid foundation for job creation.
Supporting policies have been offered by local governments to encourage entrepreneurship. With a vision to build itself into an international talent highland, Beijing introduced a plan to support the growth of young entrepreneurs under 30 years old.
Guided by the idea of driving employment with entrepreneurship, central China’s Hubei province worked out a three-year action plan of encouraging migrant workers to return to their home villages and start businesses.
The province also promised to optimize public employment service, offer more training on employment and entrepreneurship, and better supportive policies.
Multiple places have worked out a new training model, based on which both enterprises and educational institutions like technician colleges, vocational training institutions, and corporate training centers can work together to improve employees’ professional skills.
This system is aimed at cultivating apprentices with stronger practical ability through trainings of both knowledge and working skills under the guidance of two mentors respectively from the enterprise and college in an off-the-job or on-the-job manner.
Shanghai government has vowed to upgrade the talents’ professional skills by deepening the cooperation between vocational schools and businesses, and encouraging new training models including a work-based learning method.
Jiangsu province in eastern China also pledged utmost efforts to support employment by continuing to press ahead with the action plan of skills improvement.
Internet and other emerging industries offer more options for local governments. Heilongjiang province in northeastern China moved to leverage employment through encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation, as well as developing new business forms based on “Internet Plus” model.
Shanxi province located in northern China planned to update workers’ employability by innovating the internet-based vocational training model.
Last year, the country saw a stable job market with 13.61 million newly-created jobs in urban areas, rising by 100,000 from the previous year and hitting 123.7 percent of the annual target. Newly-added urban jobs surpassed 13 million for six consecutive years.
The increasing contribution of entrepreneurship to the rising number also signifies China’s potential to create more jobs.
The unemployment rate maintained at a low level last year, coming in at 4.9 percent in December which was 0.1 percentage point lower than the same period from a year earlier.

Left-behind females at Longju Town, Guanyun County, Lianyungang, eastern China’s Jiangsu province, learn to knit baskets. (Photo by CFP)

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