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Government further commits to youth employment assistance and support

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Premier Su Tseng-chang on Thursday received a Ministry of Labor briefing on the government's employment initiatives for fresh graduates. The initiatives consist of six measures: providing job search subsidies, offering bonuses on finding work, increasing entrepreneurial loans for young people, lowering interest rates on student loans, relaxing the threshold for deferring principal and interest payments and increasing the number of times a borrower may request such deferrals, and raising rent subsidies.

The 180,000 young people who graduated this year are entering society for the first time, Premier Su said. Because this cohort has no prior experience seeking employment, the government must provide care and support right from the start, especially as the job search will be more difficult due to the impact of COVID-19 on the job market this year.

To begin with, the government will provide each person with a job search subsidy of NT$10,000 (US$359) per month, up to a maximum of three months. If the individual secures employment by September and completes six months on the job without incident, he or she may receive an employment bonus of up to NT$30,000 (US$1,077).

Young people who acquire jobs from employers who use public services to connect with candidates are eligible for employment awards up to NT$20,000 (US$718), and the employer can also receive a payment of up to NT$30,000 (US$1,077). Furthermore, youths who opt to start their own businesses may tap into a pool of loan funding that has been expanded from NT$35 billion (US$1.3 billion) to NT$60 billion (US$2.2 billion) with five-year subsidized interest rates, for which application deadlines have been extended to the end of December.

For those who took out student loans, the government lowered interest rates from 1.15 percent to 0.9 percent beginning in March 2020. In August 2020 the government further relaxed the threshold for deferring principal and interest payments, increased the number of times a borrower may request such deferrals, as well as extended the period for interest-only repayment.

On the housing front, rent subsidies for single youths, newlyweds and young families have seen an increase from NT$2,600-NT$5,000 (US$93-US$180) per month to a maximum NT$8,000 (US$287) beginning August 2021, and program coverage has grown from 60,000 households to 120,000. Premier Su said that these measures are all aimed at providing Taiwan's young people with the most extensive and supportive assistance possible.

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