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Most college students still await offers
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08:34, March 20, 2009

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Only about 7 percent of the students who are about to graduate in July have managed to secure jobs till now, down 50 percent from the same period last year, the Guangdong education bureau said yesterday.

About 331,000 local college students will graduate in July this year, 14.2 percent more than last year.

A large number of graduating students from other provinces have been coming to Guangdong in search of jobs, the bureau said, adding that almost 500,000 graduates would be applying for jobs in Guangdong this year.

The demand for graduates has dipped by 20 percent in the wake of the global economic slowdown, Luo Weiqi, director of the Guangdong provincial education bureau, said.

Till March 10, only 7.61 percent of four-year college graduates have found jobs and signed work contracts, Luo said.

In contrast, 8.43 percent of two-year or three-year college graduates, and 14.87 percent of all postgraduates have signed labor contracts, he added.

So far, the bureau has organized 36 job fairs for fresh graduates. However, according to Luo, the number of available jobs in finance and real estate is far less than previous year's.

He said the department is chalking out measures to support college graduates, who will not be able to land satisfactory jobs this year.

One of the methods, Luo said, is to set up post baccalaureate programs, a brand-new concept in China.

The department will encourage professors to hire outstanding college graduates to work as their research assistants and assign the students to take some post baccalaureate courses at the same time, he said.

Luo advised graduates to find work in less developed areas, which face a shortage of educated workforce.

Chen Huizi, a graduating student from the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, has sent out dozens of application letters since October last year, but has not received a single offer so far.

"I just want to get a job in Guangzhou. I do not have other aspirations at all," she said.

"It is difficult for students to get a job with the recession looming," Xu Zhenhua, the principal of the university, said.

Till January, only about 3 percent of the graduating students from Xu's university had found jobs, one-fourth of last year, he said.

Source: China Daily

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