In a bid to motivate school leavers to join the job market sooner, Beijing has launched a new monthly US$320 work incentive subsidy for youngsters who find employment.

Previously only high school graduates who have been employed within two years of graduation were entitled to apply for the work incentive subsidy.

Under the latest measure, launched on June 11, technical secondary school graduates who are willing to be hired as trainees, unemployed individuals who are aged between 16 and 24 and laborers from rural areas who are registered with employment location transfers will also be entitled to the subsidies.

Authorities have substantially increased the employment or apprenticeship subsidies from the monthly 500 Chinese yuan per head to 2,200 Chinese yuan (US$320), which was equivalent to the average minimum monthly salary that urban workers would earn this year.

The Beijing Municipal Human Resources and Social Security Bureau announced the implementation of the Youth Apprenticeship Program to increase employment or apprenticeship subsidies and optimize the application process for unemployed young people with a willingness to become trainees, the Paper reported.

Also, graduates who have successfully sought employment from start-up enterprises and new business enterprises will be allowed with subsidies.

The latest move also allows enterprises to decide on the length of the employee’s probation period, from the three- or six-month-fixed session to any period from one up to 12 months.

Applications for work apprenticeship as well as the subsidies are available online. Interested eligible persons should visit the official website of the Beijing Human Resources and Social Security Bureau, and register on the public service platform at www.bjrbj.gov.cn to submit their applications online.