To create a specialized domestic service market, the first step is the integration of existing resources, which means that all the domestic service companies and domestic workers in the city will be incorporated into the unified framework and governed by the same set of standards. Officials from the domestic service association of Fuzhou maintain that unified standards help reassure customers and benefit the business development of the companies.
More specialization in addition to large-scale operations Fuzhou has adopted policies favourable to the development of the domestic service industry and to support companies in integrating social resources and developing chain shops through mergers and acquisitions or franchises.
Companies running at least five chain shops will receive nomore than 30,000 yuan in subsidy from the government for every newly added shop, and a company may receive up to 300,000 yuan each year.
These favourable policies are driving a new round of business expansion in the domestic service industry of Fuzhou. Through acquisitions, smaller and less standardized companies will be incorporated into the “formal” ones. In the industrial association ’ s analysis, the large domestic service companies will come to invest in Fuzhou, further integrating resources and turning around the small and informal operations, thus promoting the development of the industry.
Policies have been put in place to encourage domestic service companies to adopt formal employment and pay social insurance for their employees. Government will provide insurance subsidies of up to 1,500 yuan per person annually to the companies, depending on the actual number of employees who contribute. Based on formal employment, the companies pay their share to the social security schemes their employees participate in. Companies will sign service contracts with hirers on behalf of domestic workers and dispatch them, while the hirers pay for the services to the companies, which in return pay the workers. Since these workers are the companies ’ employees and there is an employment relationship in place between them, the hirers will turn to the companies to resolve any service problems.
Another issue in the domestic service industry is the acute shortage of highly skilled workers and business management talent.
Data shows that since domestic science was put back onto the curriculum of the South China Women’s Technical College of Fujian in 2002, only 80 students have graduated in the past ten years with a degree in the subject. In recent years, technical colleges and high schools have witnessed an embarrassing scenario of almost “zero enrollment” in domestic service classes. Experts point out that these classes are designed to train the highly skilled domestic workers that society needs so badly, and many more professionals are needed to meet the demand of large-scale business operations.