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Fair job opportunities

China Daily | Updated: 2013-05-23 08:03

The "toughest year for job seekers", which the country's graduates face, calls for workable measures to translate the authorities' commitment to ensuring the graduate employment rate remains the same as last year into concrete actions.

A record 6.99 million students will graduate in China this year, an increase of 2.8 percent year-on-year. However, the number of available jobs offered by employers has declined by around 10 to 15 percent. The gloomier employment situation, exacerbated by the continuing economic deceleration, underscores the need for greater multi-departmental efforts and coordination to expand employment channels.

A notice issued by the Ministry of Education on Tuesday has prescribed a variety of recipes, including better implementation of grassroots employment projects, encouraging more graduates to enlist in the military or to act as scientific research assistants, and holding better-targeted job fairs.

Such measures are important and will help to better prepare graduates to get a job. However, the efficiency and efficacy of some of them do not fully depend on the educational authorities alone. For example, local governments are also involved in deciding whether grassroots employment projects can be better implemented.

Similarly, to recruit more graduates into the military is also based on more effective policy coordination and communication with the military authorities. All these highlight the necessity of setting up a higher-level inter-department policy coordination mechanism to push for the enforcement of some employment measures.

During a recent visit to a job fair in Tianjin, President Xi Jinping encouraged college students to be down to earth in their job hunting and not to dismiss working at the grassroots level or in a tough place. At a recent State Council meeting, Premier Li Keqiang also called on graduates to work for small and medium-sized enterprises, in the private sector and in grassroots jobs to deal with a tough employment situation.

Changing their ingrained mindset that government and State-owned company jobs are the path to success will help graduates find employment more easily. However, the country also needs to take forcible measures to forego the employment prejudices that still prevail in some regions and enterprises. The recent disclosures of children of officials being recruited or promoted to leading positions without following the proper hiring procedures shows that the country still needs to make efforts to establish a fair and just employment market.

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