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League secures internships for graduates
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08:32, February 02, 2009

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Thousands of fresh college graduates will be able to bypass the grim job market by pursuing special internships at major firms across the country.

The Chinese Communist Youth League launched the initiative to help recent graduates, young laid-off workers and farmers find internships at large enterprises, beginning Feb 10.

So far, the League has listed 1,952 employers offering nearly 60,000 positions in finance, publishing, communication, transportation and manufacturing. Large state-owned enterprises, major private companies and Fortune 500 foreign ventures are also on the list.

"This project is one of our major efforts to help young Chinese in the grim job market during the global financial crisis," said the League's statement. "It also helps those companies know more about their future employees."

The Youth League formally launched the nationwide project in January, and has secured those spots at the 5,000 "internship bases" for this year. The internships will last about two to three months and offer a monthly stipend of at least 500 yuan ($70) and insurance.

This new program comes in the wake of the global financial crisis that has also led to a tightened job market in China and the loss of many jobs.

In fact, the government has predicted that the urban registered unemployment rate might rise to 4.6 percent this year, which could be the worst since 1980.

More than 10 million migrant workers, most of them young farmers, lost their jobs in the third quarter of 2008. And some 7.1 million university graduates will be looking for jobs this year, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security said in the latest work report.

"Internships are very important to us during the job hunt," Dai Jini, 21, a recent graduate in Shanghai who majored in international logistics, told China Daily. "But it is quite hard to find a good one at big firms. I think this internship program is quite good but I'm afraid too many will compete for the limited berths."

The State Council, or cabinet, pledged in January to make it a priority to help university graduates find jobs through new measures.

Students are being encouraged to work in less developed areas, in small or private companies, join the Army or start their own businesses. Universities are asked to expand job placement services.

Jobless migrant workers can also get free vocational training to help them learn more skills and a series of job fairs will be arranged after the Spring Festival.

"Facing such a tough time, young migrant workers and students can easily get emotional or hotheaded and may become a potential threat to social stability," Guo Weiqing, a professor of public administration at Guangzhou's Sun Yat-sen University, told China Daily.

Source: China Daily

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