news Top technicians sent to France and Italy Nineteen of the country's top technicians headed for France and Italy on Sunday for 12 days of extra vocational training, China Youth Daily reports. The Ministry of Labour and Social Security said the mainland was experiencing a shortage of trained technical staff and more applicants would be sent overseas. Beijing to spend 4.6m yuan on professional training The Beijing municipal government will spend 4.6million yuan on a programme for professional training in management, public affairs, logistics, culture and the sports industry, the Beijing Times reports. The programme involves 17 projects with firms, government departments and universities. Mainland second to India in regional wage increases The mainland has been ranked second, behind India, in a survey of average national pay increases in the Asia-Pacific region this year. Xinhua reports human resources giant Hewitt polled more than 1,000 enterprises in the region on pay rises. Employees at Indian businesses received average increases of 14.5 per cent while mainland workers got rises of 6.4 per cent to 8.4 per cent. Hong Kong wages rose 1.3 per cent to 2 per cent. Shanghai hospitals seek 300 new staff Hospitals throughout Shanghai will be on the lookout for senior medical staff at today's industry job fair. The Talent Market News reports more than 300 vacancies will be on offer at about 70 medical facilities. Part-time positions launched at Sichuan Airlines Sichuan Airlines has begun recruiting staff to take up positions in what will be the country's first pool of part-time air stewards, Chengdu Business News reports. About 300 candidates applied for the positions, and staff began job interviews last week. Successful candidates will receive training and be employed at an hourly rate during holiday periods.