In recent years, the total number of migrant workers in China has continued to increase. In 2018, this number exceeded 288 million2. Among such a large group of migrant workers, over half of them are engaged in the tertiary industry3. The new generation of migrant workers born in 1980 and later has gradually become the backbone of migrant workers, exceeding 50.5% of the total number of migrant workers in China4.
However, among such a large group of migrant workers, only one third of them have received vocational skills training5; women account for 34.4% of the total number of migrant workers6; the lower the education level is, the higher the unemployment rate will be. In addition, among workers blindly migrate to cities, women are more vulnerable because of their family environment, education level, lack of urban living skills, and higher risks exposure etc.
Providing market-oriented vocational training to female youth
Kaixuan was born in 1980s. In order to improve her family's livelihood and provide her daughter with better living conditions, she chose to come to Beijing to work. Working in a nursing home was not as smooth as she initially thought, as each elderly person has a different situation and a different personality. Facing all kinds of unexpected situations and coping pressures, Kaixuan was not happy, "and even shed tears secretly."
In the nursing home where Kaixuan is working, female nursing workers account for the vast majority. The busy nursing work makes many of them feel that "it takes a lot of courage for them to come to work every day".
The project, targeted at migrant female youth, was implemented in Beijing by Plan International and provided family services (elderly care, maternal & infant care) and health training courses to Kaixuan and her colleagues. Through 7-14 days’ training free of accommodation and tuition, youth were provided with theory and practical courses focusing on vocational skills and supplemented by life skills and employment preparation guidance. After their graduation and received the certificate, we linked them with suitable job opportunities and provided follow-up support.
After received the training, Kaixuan felt that she has made great progress in her daily work, especially in communication with elderly. Her job has become more enjoyable, as it involves a lots of chatting and laughing with elderly.
Supporting trainees’ career development and self-employment
The project not only provided trainees with opportunities to improve their occupational skills, but also connected them with employers and other trainees through regular online and offline communications, as so to better support their career development and encourage some of them to start their own businesses.
Li Zhenzhen, a trainee from rural Henan Province, chose to come to Beijing to earn money with her husband after her child was over one year old. At first, Zhenzhen did the customer service work in the courier company which was dull and monotonous, and due to her limited education level, she could not see her future there. Now, she has become a trainer in the housekeeping industry after being trained, Zhenzhen said, "I feel that I have a solid foothold in this city and I can help more peers find decent jobs, which makes me very fulfilled."
Qin Chunxia, a former hospital caregiver, was promoted to a project manager in the hospital in 2018 after being trained. Her salary has doubled and she has bought a two-bedroom apartment in Xianghe with her husband. Now she is working hard for herself, her children, and her extended family.
From 2016 to 2019, the Youth Employment project in Beijing provided 944 migrant youth (including 885 women) with vocational skills training, life skills training, and pre-employment training, of whom 813 graduates have obtained decent jobs.
Currently, Plan International continues to carry out employment support projects for migrant youth, providing trainings on beauty, photography, baking, nutrition, nursing etc. for youth based on local demand and creating opportunities for decent employment and adapting to urban life.