In this undated photo, candidates review information on vacancies during a recent job fair in Suqian, Jiangsu province. (ZHENG XUJUN / FOR CHINA DAILY)
All levels of government are introducing policies to help college graduates find jobs by creating more openings and giving them subsidies, minimizing one of the economic side effects of the novel coronavirus pneumonia epidemic.
For example, Gansu province released a plan on March 3 to support the employment of graduates.
The provincial government in Gansu will carry out a campaign to arrange for 10,000 graduates to join some key companies and agriculture-related workshops, whereas in Guangdong, State-owned firms will offer more vacancies
According to the plan, the provincial government will carry out a campaign to arrange for 10,000 graduates to join some key companies and agriculture-related workshops in the province. Graduates who are suffering financially will be given priority.
In addition, the government will give a monthly subsidy of 1,500 yuan (US$214) to each of the graduates involved in the campaign.
Guangdong province is also stepping up employment efforts for its graduates.
The provincial government said there will be 600,000 students graduating from colleges in Guangdong this year, 30,000 more than last year. Another 200,000 graduates from other provinces are expected to seek work in Guangdong, necessitating the intensification of employment efforts there.
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To better relieve the pressure on graduates to find jobs, State-owned companies in the province will offer more vacancies. Further, more grassroots positions, such as community medical workers, will be made available to graduates.
Guangdong will also give subsidies of 3,000 yuan to graduates who plan to take grassroots jobs in the southern parts of the province, while those who take such jobs elsewhere in the province will receive 5,000 yuan.
"The population of college graduates will reach as high as 8.74 million in 2020, 400,000 higher than the previous year, and they will face greater challenges because of the epidemic," Wen Tiehui, vice-minister of education, told a news conference organized by the State Council Information Office late last month.
"It's already difficult to arrange jobs for a such a large group … we are also responsible for containing the outbreak while organizing employment."
You Jun, vice-minister of human resources and social security, said at the news conference the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak had delivered an economic shock to the nation and had an impact on employment, "especially on some key groups like college graduates and migrant workers".
"The ministry recognizes that stabilizing hiring is the priority of employment efforts, as well as endeavoring to lower the negative influence that the coronavirus has brought to these groups," You said.
Wen said her ministry will encourage graduates to find jobs in some State-level projects, where there will be more opportunities for employment thanks to industrial upgrades.
Further, some positions－such as teaching jobs－are readily available in senior high schools and kindergartens, which are short staffed. The ministry will also organize graduates to join employment campaigns to serve in villages and western provinces.
Small and medium-sized enterprises are the main employers of the group, having attracted nearly 60 percent of graduates over the past three years, Wen said. Such enterprises will enjoy more preferential policies from the central government to help relieve employment pressure this year.
The Ministry of Education will also encourage graduates to join the army and develop more jobs in sectors including education, pharmaceuticals and nursing.
"Every year, over half the people joining the army are college students," Wen said. "We will enhance promotional activities this year and encourage more graduates to sign up."
HONG KONG NEWS