Hangzhou uses 'pairing assistance' to help firms with production, staff

Wu Huixin
Hangzhou government has encouraged firms to dispatch long-distance chartered coaches to bring workers back from the Chinese New Year holiday to facilitate resumption of production.
Wu Huixin

With many migrant workers returning home, the recent Chinese New Year holiday had a major impact on many enterprises in terms of personnel recruitment and resuming factory production.

To help with streamlined resumption of production at the beginning of 2023, Hangzhou government encouraged companies to dispatch long-distance chartered coaches to bring workers back, subsidizing up to 50 percent of the transportation costs.

On February 3, a chartered coach with 64 migrant workers on board finally arrived at Hangzhou's Xihu District after traveling over 1,800 kilometers from Qingchuan County of Guangyuan City in southwest China's Sichuan Province.

"We dispatched HR to the Qingchuan-Hangzhou Job Fair and recruited 10 people. They came to Hangzhou via the chartered coach," said Yao Yunfei, manager of Lanping Supply Chain Co.

The job fair was held in Qingchuan County on February 1. Companies that organized chartered coaches to bring non-native workers to the city were subsidized by up to 200,000 yuan (US$29,000).

The subsidy is one of the 28 measures implemented by Xihu District government aimed at relieving the financial burden on companies.

Such measures have also been taken in other districts. Gongshu District hosted a personnel recruitment fair in Zhaohua District of Guangyuan City on January 31. About 18 Hangzhou companies attended the fair, offering 400 jobs involving the furniture, automobile and food industries.

Another online job fair attracted over 67,000 hits. Companies introduced vacancies through livestreaming, which cut down cost and time in recruitment.

The first batch of Zhaohua workers has already arrived in Gongshu District through chartered coaches. In a bid to coordinate with local companies in hiring workers, the district has set up an official team in organizing workers and buses.

Hangzhou uses 'pairing assistance' to help firms with production, staff
Ti Gong

A chartered coach with migrant workers on board arrives in Hangzhou from Guangyuan City, southwest China's Sichuan Province.

Since Gongshu District started the "pairing assistance" project with Zhaohua District, more than 7,100 migrant workers from Sichuan have found jobs at local companies.

"I used to buy my own train ticket, and looked for job after arrival. That was time-consuming," said Sun Jun, a migrant worker from Guangyuan. "Now, I found the job at the job fair and I even saved cost on transportation."

Yang Guohao, 27, came to Hangzhou for the first time. Not long ago, he watched a job fair livestreamed by Hangzhou's Binjiang District and found a job with SUPOR Group, one of China's leading companies in the home appliance industry.

"The salary is much higher than I expected. The company also provides me with accommodation and meals. A chartered coach brought me from Sichuan to Hangzhou. I am really satisfied," said Yang.

In a bid to compete with other districts in personnel recruitment, Binjiang has organized 12 local companies to livestream for over 1,200 positions on social media.

"The company needs about 400 to 500 workers. Formerly we had to dispatch HR to other provinces for hiring workers. Now, Binjiang District helps us in the personnel recruitment work, really saving time and cost," said He Qingzhi, manager of the HR Department of SUPOR Group.

Hangzhou uses 'pairing assistance' to help firms with production, staff
Ti Gong

Migrant workers pose with a welcome banner after arriving in Hangzhou. Local government encourages companies to dispatch long-distance chartered coaches to bring workers back, subsidizing up to 50 percent of the transportation costs.

Hangzhou started the "pairing assistance" with Guangyuan City in 2021. Civil servants and professionals are sent there, coordinating with local governments to improve social development. Meanwhile, Guangyuan workers have gone in the reverse direction in a bid to solve Hangzhou's labor shortage.

Since the Chinese government initiated the "pairing assistance" program in the 1990s to help poverty-stricken regions, Hangzhou has been supporting the development of 11 cities and 47 counties across eight provinces.

In attempts to reduce the outflow of migrant workers during the weeklong Chinese New Year holiday and help better resume production, Hangzhou offered cash and coupons to every non-native who pays taxes and stayed in the city during the holiday.

Local departments even opened some gyms free and held online cultural classes intended to enrich migrant workers' entertainment activities during the holiday.

Hangzhou also announced the telephone numbers for legal service, providing free legal consultation, arbitration and litigation agency services for workers and offering legal guidance and services for enterprises when recruiting migrant workers.

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