Only one out of nine people who took an exam on Sunday to qualify as social workers in Beijing will get the job, the municipal authorities said.
The number of new recruits this year is 383, the highest since social work was recognized as a profession by the government in 2004, said Xicheng district government in a statement.
The latest batch of workers is expected to serve the public in Beijing's Xicheng district by guiding troublesome youths, helping to rehabilitate the disabled, caring for the elderly and looking after victims of child abuse, it said.
Of the 3,499 candidates who sat the exam 85 percent were between 21 to 35 and 40 percent held bachelor degrees, it said.
The monthly pay for the future district social workers will be more than 1,500 yuan ($220), less than half of the average wage of workers in Beijing last year, a district government official said.
Social work as a profession has vast development potential and helps to improve the community service system and stabilize all society, according to the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.
In China social workers are often mistaken for unpaid volunteers, said China Social Work Education. Only those with qualifications in psychology or social work and relevant experiences can become professional social workers, according to the National Occupation Standards.
Currently, however, social work in China is still in the preliminary stages, particularly since only a small number of college graduates engage in social work. The Beijing government is planning to fund and manage social work posts in both public and private sectors.
According to China Philanthropy Times, there are around 4 million to 8 million social work organizations in China.
Assuming they have a minimum of three to five staff each, 12 million to 40 million posts could be created.
Source: China Daily