Cabinet approves NT$6.6 billion fund for first-time jobseekers

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TAIPEI (CNA) — The Cabinet on Thursday approved a NT$6.6 billion (US$220 million) incentive plan to assist and reward new graduates entering the job market in Taiwan, which will to go into effect in June.

The plan, proposed by the Ministry of Labor, identifies three criteria — employment, skillset training and hiring, the latter targeting employers.

In terms of employment, a cash reward of NT$20,000 will be given to each first-time jobseeker if he or she is able to find a job before the end of the year and hold onto it for at least three months, director-general of the MOL’s Workforce Development Agency Shih Chen-yang (施貞仰) said at a press briefing.

Those that are able to keep at it for six months will receive an additional NT$10,000, Shih said, noting that the maximum is NT$30,000 per individual.

Each first-time jobseeker finding work in sectors categorized as labor-intensive where manpower shortages are prevalent — healthcare services, manufacturing and construction — will receive a monthly allowance of NT$5,000 for six months, according to the MOL.

The stipend will be raised to NT$6,000 from the seventh to the 12th month, and NT$7,000 from the 13th to the 18th month, the ministry said, noting that the maximum per person is NT$108,000 if they retain the same job for 18 months.

In the area of training, Shih said new graduates who opt to undertake skillset training organized by the labor ministry will be rewarded with a monthly stipend ranging from NT$3,000 to NT$8,000 for a maximum of 12 months.

Meanwhile, employers will also be rewarded for hiring first-time jobseekers, who must be paid a monthly salary of at least NT$28,000, she said.

Employers will receive NT$20,000 per quarter for every first time jobseeker who remains in his or her job for the three month period, up to a period of one year, the director-general explained.

According to Vice Labor Minister Lin San-quei (林三貴), about 280,000 students in Taiwan are expected to graduate this summer with roughly 220,000 entering the job market, while the remainder are likely to pursue further studies at home or abroad.