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Change graduates' mindset

China Daily | Updated: 2013-05-17 08:17

How to offer jobs to its ever-expanding army of graduates has become a particularly thorny issue for the country, especially at a time when China's economy struggles to sustain relatively rapid development.

There is wide consensus that China's university education has evolved from the elite education of the past into mass education after a decade of the ambitious enrollment enlargement program adopted by domestic institutions of higher learning.

The big increase in the number of better-educated people has not only boosted the general quality of this populous nation, it has also played a positive role in driving its economic and social development.

However, university graduates should change the still-ingrained mentality that they are part of the elite and should have easier access to good jobs, and should accept the fact that working at the lowest levels also can lead to success if one is diligent.

During a recent visit to a job fair in Tianjin, President Xi Jinping encouraged college students to be ambitious but also down-to-earth in their job hunting, telling them not to dismiss working at the grassroots level or in tough places. Extraordinary performances are also possible in an ordinary position, he said. At the same time, he urged greater efforts be made to provide sound vocational training and improve the employment service system in an effort to ease the country's structural unemployment.

At Wednesday's State Council meeting, Premier Li Keqiang also said China faces a tough employment situation due to its economic deceleration over the past months and called on graduates to work for small and medium-sized enterprises, in the private sector and at grassroots jobs.

China will see a record-high 6.99 million graduates this year, up 2.8 percent year-on-year. At the same time, its economic growth decelerated further to 7.7 percent in the first quarter of this year, from 7.9 percent in the fourth quarter of last year. Their coincidence highlights the urgency of graduates changing their attitude to jobs.

To increase graduates' preference for working at the grassroots level or in smaller enterprises, people will have to rid them of the ingrained notion that a job with a State-owned company or government body is the prime way to a good life.

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