Easing the job market pressure on Fresh Grads

In the coming two months, 8.74 million students in China are set to graduate from college, 400,000 more than last year. As the record high of graduates has put the job market under pressure, the country fleshed out easing measures to enlarge the employment pool as much as possible.

The soon-to-be graduates are facing unexpected employment challenges and heightened concerns about their careers this year due to the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Many admitted that the pandemic has completely derailed their academic and employment plans, and it has certainly made the already raw job market even more competitive specially after the offline spring recruitment season was interrupted by the most recent outbreak.

According to a survey conducted by the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE), more than 80 percent of graduates felt anxious about job prospects as they worried about a plunge in job supply.

The Chinese government has rolled out a slew of measures, including the launch of online recruitment campaigns, increased hiring by state-owned companies and government departments, expansion of postgraduate enrollment and army enlistment, as well as more subsidies for small businesses and startups, to help ease the anxiety about graduating during the pandemic.

Online recruitment helps job hunting

China’s Ministry of Education announced Wednesday to launch a “100-day” national campaign to boost the employment and entrepreneurship of new graduates from May to August in cooperation with Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, China Media Group (CMG) and three other departments and units, with more than 1 million jobs to be provided by over 12,000 registered companies and social organizations.

CMG has also teamed up with the State Development & Investment Corporation (SDIC) – China’s largest state-owned investment holding company – and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) to launch a national online recruitment project in March.

More than 1.5 million resumes have been delivered through the project, which has so far offered upwards of 500,000 positions provided by over 4,700 firms and 300 universities and colleges for job seekers.

Expansion of postgraduate enrollment

To ease the job market pressure and encourage students to seek higher education, a series of measures has been taken by the Ministry of Education as well as universities and colleges across the country, such as expanding the enrollment of postgraduate and degree top-up programs as well as creating more jobs in education, research, medical and public service sectors.

According to the ministry, about 100,000 doctoral students will be admitted this year. Some universities have unveiled their admissions policies since April, showing that they will expand doctoral programs and enrollments.

Universities with expanded doctoral programs include Renmin University of China, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Nankai University, Southeast University, Henan University, Guangzhou University and Airforce Medical University. Many colleges are also resorting to “cloud recruitment” for this year’s graduates, Including Beijing Jiaotong University and Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunication

In addition, Vice Education Minister Weng Tiehui announced earlier that the enrollment of master’s degree students is likely to increase by 189,000 this year, raising the total figure to around 1.1 million.

More options offered with supportive measures

All levels of governments and departments have rolled out multi-faceted measures to create more job opportunities and encourage college graduates to start businesses or join the military.

Kindergartens, primary and secondary schools nationwide are hiring more than 400,000 graduates as teachers. 

State-owned firms will expand their recruitment plans and offer an increasing number of positions in the following two years. In Wuhan – the hardest hit city by the coronavirus in China – at least 60 percent of job vacancies in the state-owned companies will be specially opened to new graduates

In Nanjing, east China’s Jiangsu Province, the local government is expanding the selection of outstanding entrepreneurship projects among graduates, with 100,000 to 500,000 Yuan offered in grants. Hubei has also announced to expand their recruitment plan of civil servants, with vacancies increased by 20 percent.