Displaced villager in NE China gets new job amid COVID-19

Thanks to the policy of the local government, Yu Haiyan, an unemployed middle-aged villager in Northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province, has secured a job as a baby nurse amid the COVID-19 epidemic.

Yu is from Mahe village, Mudanjiang, Heilongjiang Province. Her husband died of liver cancer before the Chinese New Year, whose treatment cost  all her savings and even got her into debt.

To take care of her aged mother and son who is still at college, Yu was eager to get back to work at a restaurant. However, her plan was disrupted by the sudden epidemic. She was laid off at the beginning of March.

To cushion the effects of the epidemic and help people like Yu, Mudanjiang human resources and social security bureau launched a program to bring jobs back to rural residents.

Through WeChat groups, phone calls and home visits, the government department introduced over 16,000 jobs to migrant workers and impoverished residents.

A recruitment advertisement for baby nurses sent to a WeChat group aroused Yu’s interest. “I heard the baby nursing market is growing and the payment is also very good,” Yu said. Though she wanted to give it a try, she then had no relevant experience or skill.

A livestreaming recruitment session held by the government helped solve her problem.

During epidemic prevention and control, Mudanjiang hosted 15 livestreaming recruitment sessions for the socially disadvantaged groups such as migrant workers, impoverished rural residents, the disabled and people who have difficulty finding a job.

During one livestreaming session, Yu learnt that people with registered rural residence like her could take courses on baby nursing at the Shiguanjia vocational school for free. The online training fee of Yu, which stood at over 1,900 yuan (about $272), was covered by a special fund offered by the government.

So far, Mudanjiang has given subsidies worth of over 14 million yuan to 93 such vocational schools, training nearly 12,000 people.

According to Yu, all questions that a “newbie” would encounter as a baby nurse can be asked in a WeChat group, such as what work shall be done as preparation, how to get along with clients and how to relieve symptoms babies develop. “It was very helpful for green hands like me,” she said.

In May, after completing basic training, Yu took an interview and landed a job in Harbin, capital city of Heilongjiang.

However, due to the strict epidemic control and prevention measures in Mudanjiang at that time, no one was allowed to leave the city.

As many trainees of the Shiguanjia vocational school, including Yu, needed to go to Harbin for work, Yang Qiuhuan, head of the school, reached out to the Mudanjiang human resources and social security bureau for help of arranging chartered buses to transport migrant workers to their destinations.

Yu had a nucleic acid test as required by the health commission of Mudanjiang on May 23 and then got on a chartered bus three days later.

The health commission disinfected the vehicles thoroughly and took the temperature of the migrant workers, and the traffic detachment of the public security bureau monitored the vehicles through a satellite navigation system.

Meanwhile, the buses also offered masks, infrared thermometers, disinfectant, disposable gloves and other medical supplies.

After Yu completed her first baby nursing job in Harbin, the school recommended another job to her in Kunshan, East China’s Jiangsu Province.

“I will get paid over 6,000 yuan per month and be provided with food and accommodation,” said Yu with satisfaction.

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