Xinjiang vows job offers to fresh graduates
By Lei Xiaoxun (China Daily)
Updated: 2009-03-10 08:28

Unemployed graduates will get a job offer within 12 hours of an application in the capital of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, officials said Monday.

A record 58,000 graduates are expected to enter the job market in the region this year, up 9 percent from last year, prompting Xinjiang to roll out a slew of measures to help them find jobs amid the financial crisis.

"We can ensure that a graduate student can get at least one offer within 12 hours in Urumqi," said Li Zhi, party head of Urumqi. Li is in Beijing to attend the ongoing session of the National People's Congress.

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Although he didn't say what kind of positions would be offered to students, he said that priority would be given to ethnic minority students.

"We will encourage employers to hire ethnic minority students and the government at all levels will arrange positions for them," Li said.

The efforts are part of a package for all Xinjiang graduates as the region aims to maintain an employment rate of over 70 percent among fresh graduates, said Tian Wen, party chief of Xinjiang personnel bureau.

Xinjiang's relatively small economy, however, means that there will be fewer urban jobs than the number of new graduates. As a result, they will be urged to go to the countryside to teach or practice as medical workers. Five percent college graduates in the region have been working in rural areas since last year.

"We offer tailored positions to students to support medical and educational developments in rural Xinjiang," Tian said.

She did not specify how many such positions are offered but said that 80 percent positions are reserved for ethnic minority students.

Both officials called for graduates to take frontline jobs, with Tian saying multiple vacancies exist in the public welfare sector.

Besides, the region has also established five job-training bases in Ili Kazak autonomous prefecture, Urumqi and Aksu. Among the other measures to boost employment among new graduates are subsidizing companies that employ graduates, offering small loans to graduates starting their own businesses, employment guidance to students and organizing specialized job fairs.