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(China Daily)
Updated: 2009-02-20 07:41

Hukou reprieve a welcome reform

Comment on "Hire graduates without local hukou" (China Daily, Feb 17)

I really appreciate the government's effort to promote the employment of graduates by lifting hukou or residency permit restrictions.

However, with my experience, I think the policy may not be as effective as expected in easing employment pressure. Currently most of the firms in the market don't have hukou requirements, except for a few State-owned institutions or companies.

And employees without local hukou permits can also set up personal social insurance accounts, although the free flow of these accounts between regions is still a problem.

Recruiting is part of my job. With my knowledge, there is a shortage of skilled or experienced job-seekers in the labor market while there are too many "common" job-seekers lacking company-needed skills or abilities, for example, lots of newly graduated college students.

When you look at recruiting advertisements, maybe 99 percent of them require applicants with a certain number of years related work experience. As profit-pursuers, employers want to hire employees who can immediately make profits for firms. I think this is the major reason why millions of fresh graduates have difficulty in finding jobs.

Most college graduates learn a lot from textbooks and teachers but lack practical skills or experience, and may be less competent than graduates of advanced technical schools.

Then the problem arises: Who provides career-related training to graduates when most companies are reluctant to provide training to newcomers, especially when training budgets are shrinking during the recession?

I think different levels of related authorities should shoulder the responsibility. For instance, State-run human resources markets have detailed information of firm's hiring requirements, so they can organize vocational training through cooperation with training institutes and companies.

This training should be tailored for individual company's needs.

Psychological support should also be provided to help graduates build confidence after experiencing so many difficulties in finding work.

Graduates should be encouraged to take ground-level jobs initially. Through coordinated efforts by government, companies, communities and graduates themselves, the issue can be tackled.

They should also remember clearly the old saying: God helps those who help themselves.

Tony Cai

via e-mail

What's religion got to do with it?

Comment on Chen Weihua's column "Why the fuss over Zhang on beach?" (China Daily, Jan 10)

I recently visited China for the first time and read your excellent paper while I was there. I was, however, disturbed by the content of Mr Chen's column "Why fuss over Zhang on beach?"

In this column, he described the media uproar over some explicit photos of film star Zhang Ziyi taken while she and her boyfriend were relaxing at a beach.

What is disturbing is that Mr Chen felt it necessary to mention the boyfriend's religion three times in his column ("frolicking with her Jewish boyfriend on the beach"; "serious about her relationship with the Jewish billionaire"; "pray Zhang and her Jewish fiance walk down the aisle").

Of what relevance is the boyfriend's religion to the point of the column? One doubts that if he had been Christian or Muslim, Mr Chen would have written "frolicking with her Christian (or Muslim) boyfriend on the beach."

Mr Chen's preoccupation with the boyfriend's religion seems, at best, hypocritical, as in his column he takes to task "some of our narrow-minded folks (who) have felt nationalistic, or racist and sexist ... when their beloved Chinese actress dates or marries a foreigner ..." Perhaps he had no mirror handy.

Lewis M. Koppel

via e-mail

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(China Daily 02/20/2009 page9)