Sat, Nov 24, 2012 - Page 8 News List


Information, not spin required

Even after the Executive Yuan publicized it via TV advertisements last month, I still cannot understand what the “Economic Power-up Plan” is.

In fact, the advertisements received a huge wave of criticism.

The advertisement said it is hard to only use a few sentences to describe the plan, and the point seemed to be that the government is “saying little but doing more.”

What awful propaganda to publicize this as being relevant to people’s livelihoods.

My friend recently got laid off from her job at a food factory. Luckily, she can survive for a while by drawing on her release pay.

She never thinks of being jobless though, and told me: “I am not as senseless as government officials.”

I sensed, though, that she felt helpless while talking to me.

A workforce training program was put in place last year by the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA), which offers subsidies to firms retraining the jobless.

I found out about this program completely by accident two days ago and told my friend about it.

Where could she get information, and how could she apply, she asked me.

I told her that the CLA provides a variety of training programs for both the employed and the jobless, and that by going to the Web site of the training center of the Bureau of Employment and Vocational Training she could find more details.

She immediately went to the Web site and found the information she needed.

She left with a smile on her face because she had found her next step.

Should I feel renewed hope or should I instead feel fear as I realize that only a minority of workers know about this program?

I do not know whether the “Economic Power-up Plan” can stimulate Taiwan’s economy to keep it growing, but one thing I do know is that one part of this plan, workforce training, really meets workers’ needs.

The CLA arranges a variety of training programs to promote workers’ skills, thus meeting the needs of the labor market.

Launching the “Economic Power-up Plan” in September, the Executive Yuan has just integrated several cross-ministry policies into one “new” plan.

If we take time to examine this plan, we will find many programs pre-existing it.

Taiwanese do not need the government to waste time creating a new name for what is essentially just combining old programs together.

They need the government to tell the public what resources are already available to them.

It is also unnecessary for the government to spend extra money publicizing its “new” policies through TV adverts.

In terms of past experiences, people might not be able to see the real situation when they are in a superior position.

If government officials could just listen to people’s needs, then the situation could be improved.

It is a pity to see that such a potentially good plan cannot be understood by the public and that the government’s efforts are in vain.

Chang Shin-ping

New Taipei City

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