President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday promised not to sacrifice the rights of workers in exchange for a better economic performance, adding that the government will devote more effort to addressing unemployment issues.
“With limited natural resources, Taiwan should focus on developing its human resources. In other words, Taiwan would not have such achievements without its labor labor. We definitely cannot sacrifice the rights of workers for a better economic performance,” he said in a post on his Facebook page.
Following a meeting with representatives from eight labor associations on Friday, Ma said the groups expressed concerns about the rising unemployment rate, especially among the younger generation, and that the groups expected the government to create more employment opportunities for young people.
Ma said the increasing numbers of students studying at universities and colleges in Taiwan, changing employment conditions and the imbalance between demand and supply of talent for industries contributed to the increasing unemployment rate among young people.
Ma said the government will launch a “industry college” program that will invite corporations to offer job training courses to students.
The government will also enhance career development courses or job training programs to strike a balance between demand and supply for industry ready workers, he added.
Under the proposed 12-year education plan, students who enroll in vocational high schools will not have to pay tuition fees, regardless of their families’ income starting next year, while a NT$1.48 million (US$49,000) annual income threshold is set for high-school students.
“We will give more subsidies to vocational school students in an effort to attract more talent to the vocational sphere, so that traditional industries and small businesses can find the talent they need,” he said.