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January 18, 2010

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Metro network faces labor shortage

SHANGHAI'S Metro network faces a coming labor shortage.

A proposal by the city's political advisers said another 30,000 technical and management professionals, nearly twice its current staff, will be needed by 2013.

The proposal pointed out that not enough professionals are being trained to ensure the safe operation of the Metro system.

"Accidents occurred to the Metro system back to back in recent months, and the shortage of manpower is one of the reasons," said Ying Ningping, an adviser from the Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang party.

In Shanghai, an average of 39 people work on each kilometer of Metro track, 20 less than the number serving in Hong Kong, said the proposal, which will be turned in to the Shanghai Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference at the end of the month.

On some lines in Shanghai, there are only 20 employees for each kilometer of track.

The city's Metro network has 330 kilometers of track and 221 stations on 10 lines. It will reach 430km at the end of this year and 500km in 2013. The expansion means another 30,000 professionals need to be recruited, Ying said.

However, the number of graduates with professional knowledge cannot meet demands. Last year, 14,365 students were enrolled by universities and colleges nationwide to study in a metro-related field.

Meanwhile, over 40 cities across the country are building subway systems with 5,000 kilometers of tracks in the planning stage, according to the proposal, which was made on Friday.

Only three universities in Shanghai have set up Metro-related majors.

Both the quantity and quality of Metro professionals merely reach present requirements for the safe and stable operation of the city's subway network, according to the proposal.

Shanghai Shentong Metro Group, the city's Metro operator, has recruited graduates in recent years, but the company is still concerned about a lack of experience in key positions.

The proposal urged local schools to set up courses on dealing with subway emergencies, operation control and power supply.


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