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College graduates' job situation improving
By Wang Ying (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-09-29 00:58

More new college graduates found jobs this year.

Despite growing competition, the average employment rate of recent graduates hit 73 per cent this year, 3 percentage points higher than last year, education officials said Tuesday.

As the number of college and university graduates increases every year, competition for jobs becomes more intense, said officials with the Ministry of Education Tuesday.

More than 2.8 million new graduates joined the workforce this summer, up 32 per cent from last year.

However, job vacancies did not match that growth.

Even majors that once guaranteed employment, such as English, tourism and management, are now facing a downturn, education officials said.

To help college graduates find jobs, four government departments, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Personnel, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League of China, launched a joint employment campaign.

A larger number of job fairs for college graduates were held, providing more opportunities for employers and job hunters to meet, said Liu Danhua, deputy director of the Employment Department under the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.

Online employment services provided by local labour and social security departments have tried to give students updated information, Liu said.

In Shanghai, for example, more than 40,000 college graduates found jobs online.

College and university graduates were also encouraged to start their own business.

Small loans with favourable interest have been available to college graduates in Ningxia and Xinjiang in northwestern China to provide start-up funding.

Government departments and non-government organizations have organized training programmes for new graduates who want to start a business on their own.

As many college graduates flock to big companies and government institutes in well-developed areas in eastern and southern China, the vast region of western China is in constant need of new talent.

To further develop the western areas and to help graduates find jobs, the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League of China and the Ministry of Education jointly promoted a "young volunteers go west" programme in May last year.

College graduates can voluntarily join the programme to work one or two years in western areas.

Besides seeing some of the wilder and under-developed parts of China and bringing back an album full of pictures of exotic scenery, the volunteers will also bring back valuable working and living experience and some of them even find a starting point for a life-long career, said Liao Ken, an official with the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League of China.

More than 10,000 graduates have joined the programme and made contributions to the development of the west, Liao said.

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