Mon, Jan 25, 2010 - Page 3 News List

Council to offer temporary jobs for elderly workers

By Shelley Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) recently launched a program to provide temporary employment for middle-aged and elderly workers who have been unemployed for at least one year.

The program is open to job seekers between 45 and 65 years old. The council will first try to find the job seekers suitable long-term positions in private businesses and organizations. Those who cannot be matched up to a long-term position will be considered for the temporary job program.

The temporary job program will provide job seekers a 10-day position at a government agency or non-profit organization starting next Monday. The temporary work pays NT$100 per hour for up to eight hours per day, with a maximum of NT$8,000 available to each person. The CLA will cover the workers’ national labor insurance and health insurance premiums during this period.

Council officials said that the program was launched to help middle-aged and elderly job seekers because workers in this group usually have heavier financial responsibilities to their families.

On Friday, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics announced that the unemployment rate was 5.74 percent last month.

Although the country’s overall unemployment rate has dropped for four consecutive months, workers between 45 and 64 years old have seen an increase in unemployment.

Those interested in applying for the temporary work program should visit local employment service centers before the deadline on Friday.

In related news, about 160,000 people applied for labor insurance loans for the poor this year. The number of applicants this year is exceeded only by last year’s loan program, which attracted 200,000 applicants.

This year, the labor insurance loan program began accepting applications on Jan. 4. Council officials said this year’s loan program saw a surge in the first three days compared with previous years.

The council has set aside a budget of NT$20 billion (US$629 million) for the loans this year, with up to 200,000 applicants eligible for the loans. Because the number of applicants did not exceed the quota of 200,000 by the application deadline last Friday, the council will not increase its budget for the loan program this year as it did last year.

Qualified applicants will be able to borrow up to NT$100,000 before the Lunar New Year at an annual interest rate of 1.35 percent.

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