Shanghai's search continues for top talent

Shanghai authorities press plans to lure highly-skilled workers.

Shanghai will seek skilled technical talent from overseas and promote international exchanges among technical personnel, authorities announced yesterday.

“We will make it easy for highly skilled technical talent to come to Shanghai for work and exchanges,” said Zhang Lan, director of the Shanghai Human Resources and Social Security Bureau. “Those who are badly needed in Shanghai, such as personnel in the advanced manufacturing industry, can apply either for work permits, or the R visa that allows holders to enter China multiple times for five to 10 years.”

The visa targets highly skilled professionals, such as top scientists, international entrepreneurs and leading figures in technology-intensive sectors.

Besides attracting international talent to Shanghai, the city will also support enterprises and vocational schools to send their technical staff and teachers abroad for training and exchanges, said Zhang.

The move is part of a four-year plan released yesterday to improve the city’s technical strength and support high-quality development.

The plan also aims to “enhance” the technical capacity of the local labor force while ensuring that the income and social status of technical talent is “much improved” by 2021.

To achieve the goals, city will train at least one million workers a year and more than 80 percent of the training will help workers learn advanced or new skills.

The government will cooperate with enterprises, vocational schools and other social institutions to establish training bases to cultivate highly skilled talent. Currently, Shanghai has 102 such bases and will build at least 18 more by 2021.

“The city has more than 3.3 million technical workers and more than 32 percent of them are highly skilled,” said Zhang. “We will do our best to increase this portion to 35 percent by 2021, close to the level in developed countries.”

He also said the city has accredited 1,417 chief technicians and opened 165 workshops for these masters to develop innovative skills and train apprentices. It aims to have 2,000 chief technicians and 200 workshops by 2021.

More incentive measures are also available, such as more opportunities for membership in the people’s congress and people’s political consultative conference. A Shanghai hukou, or permanent household certificate, could also be offered to winners of national or international skills competitions.

District governments, industries and enterprises are also encouraged to provide low-priced apartments or housing subsidies to highly-skilled workers and help children of migrant talent enter local schools.

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