INSUFFICIENT training and poor qualifications are partly to blame for the high jobless rate among women, a trade unionist says. About 2.1 million female workers lost their jobs because they were unable to keep up with the demands in the fast-changing economy, Xinhua (the New China News Agency) said yesterday. A survey, carried out by the All-China Federation of Trade Unions in 1993 among 1,230 township and village enterprises, showed that female workers made up 60 per cent of the newly unemployed. 'Almost half of the unemployed women have no special skills. This undermines their competitiveness in the labour market,' a spokesman for the federation said. And struggling enterprises had not helped their chances of being hired, he added. Zhao Zhiling, a middle-aged female worker who worked in a state-run match factory for years, lost her job after the factory changed its production line. 'I have lost all my social welfare benefits after losing the job,' she said. Ms Zhao was in great distress, the report said, but she attended a training course for shop assistants and was employed by a large department store. However, the other 3,000 workers in Ms Zhao's factory were not so lucky. Most, without skills or retraining, had difficulty finding a new job. In Shanghai, there are 194,000 unemployed, of whom 56.3 per cent are women. The federation has urged its branches to draw up policies to tackle the problem and help those unemployed women find a new job. In China's most populous city, more than 200,000 occupational agencies were set up to create jobs for the unemployed. And in Beijing, trade unions have organised training classes on computers, accounting, cooking, garment-making and cosmetic surgery, attracting 26,000 women participants. Meanwhile, a great number of 'clubs for jobless women' and 'consultation centres' are built to offer help those who have a sense of inferiority.