‘Skills list’ to attract overseas talent

By He Dan (chinadaily.com.cn)

Updated: 2013-09-29

China is to publish a list of work skills most in demand to aid recruitment from overseas, a top official in charge of foreign affairs has revealed.

Speaking ahead of the 2013 Friendship Award ceremony on Saturday, Liu Yanguo, deputy director of the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, said his authority is identifying shortages in the domestic labor market.

“We’ll do research with human resource departments and employers to learn what types of workers they feel are hard to find,” he told China Daily.

The list is scheduled for release next year, and will be updated to keep pace with changes in market demand.

How and where it will be published, as well as other details, are still under discussion, Liu added.

Wang Huiyao, director-general of the Center for China and Globalization, a Beijing think tank, welcomed the move.

“It’s important to have such a list. It can improve the effect of recruitment from abroad,” he said.

By listening to employers’ demands, he said, authorities will be able to pinpoint industries with long-term skill shortages and introduce favorable policies.

Shanghai began publishing a recruitment list for overseas talent in 2011. On the list, nine State-owned enterprises, including Shanghai Electric, provide 72 job vacancies that they plan to fill, with salaries up to 800,000 yuan ($131,000).

China needs foreign talent from all walks of life, especially people with expertise in management, technology and science, Liu said.

He added that China’s efforts to recognize and reward people who have made tremendous contributions to China’s development and bilateral friendship is equally important in attracting high-end talent.

Fifty foreign experts received the Friendship Award this year. The prize is the highest accolade given to foreign citizens by the Chinese government.

Liu said all winners are distinctive foreign experts working in China. Many recipients this year are leading scientists and scholars, including Israeli biologist Aharon Ciechanover, the 2004 Nobel laureate in chemistry, who is director of Nanjing University’s Institute of Chemistry and Biomedical Sciences.

“Thirty years ago, most foreign experts came to help China solve technological problems, but now China also enables foreign experts to realize their dream and boost their career development,” Liu said.

Noticeably, four recipients, including Ravi Shankar Narasimhan, a senior editor at China Daily, were recognized for efforts in “helping China better tell its stories to the outside world”, Liu said.

“Many foreigners, after they came to China, realized China was not a rising monster but a fascinating country,” Liu said. “We appreciate foreign experts’ efforts can help the outside world better understand China.”

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