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Despite the progress made these past 15 years, China is still a developing country, the world’s largest. Narrowing the gaps in income and education level between rural and urban areas remains a huge challenge there. Young adults from rural areas are particularly disadvantaged.
In 2013, 268 million rural workers, mainly young adults, migrated from China’s rural areas to its big cities to find jobs. Over 56 per cent of the labour needed in urban areas calls for technical and vocational training. However, only 20 per cent of these migrants are qualified in this way.
Matching market demand and education is a crucial requirement in improving living conditions. Research has shown that pre-employment training can increase monthly income by as much as 21 per cent.
Youth Employment Solution for You (YES4U) is a three-year employment and education project that will improve the standard of living of 800 disadvantaged young adults (aged between 16 and 24, 60 % girls) and their families in Chengdu City, Sichuan Provence in China. It will do so by:
* giving them life skills and vocational training;
* making them more employable and ensuring they can find themselves secure and decent work;
* setting up a support network, comprised of employers and alumni;
* providing decent job opportunities and post-placement counselling and support;
The first year of the project will focus on educating 200 young people and will cost €104,297.
Based on the successful and proven Livelihood Advancement Business School (LABS) model, first a local market scan is carried out. The results of this scan then serve as basic input for market-driven vocational training and job placement.
Unique gender perspective
In addition to 60 per cent of the participating students being migrant girls, the project also has a special focus on empowering young women to raise their status. One of the ways it will do this is by supporting young women find decent jobs and earning a stable wage, thereby improving their families’ standard of living. It will also raise awareness for gender equality among their teachers and parents, thereby making them more sensitive to gender-related issues and creating a more equal and favourable environment in which these young women can receive an education and earn a living.
Together with implementing partner, Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship Centre (YEEC), Plan China is giving the participants life skills and vocational training. After the first year the LABS model will be replicated in three other vocational training institutions, which have yet to be determined.