Farmers, workers can move up

09:38, January 07, 2010      

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Farmers and blue-collar workers who have experience working in China's villages and communities will have more chances to be hired in higher-level civil servant positions.

China is putting more emphasis on hiring people with grassroots experience for government jobs, a top human resource official said. In years past, these people have been mostly excluded from these jobs.

"Selecting civil servants from countryside and community to higher positions in the government is on our top agenda," said Yin Weimin, the minister of Human Resources and Social Security.

Government at all levels should raise the proportion of employees with at least two years' working experience at the grassroots level, he said.

"We have to further explore methods to recruit civil servants from grassroots people, including excellent workers and farmers," Yin said.

Fresh college graduates are encouraged to work at community organizations to learn firsthand experiences , Yin said at a conference on Monday.

In 2009, about 120,000 people got on the government payroll. About 60 percent of the new recruits at the provincial level had grassroots experience, and about 70 percent of new hires at the central government had community-level experience.

The policy that favors civil servant applicants with grassroots working experience will help dilute the presence of elitism and blueblood culture among current civil servants, said Liu Junsheng, a researcher with the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.

"The composition of civil servants, if they continue to be selected through difficult exams or through connections at some local level, is facing the danger of becoming a group of elites or those with affluent family background," Liu said.

"In a country where the majority of the population are farmers, practical and pro-public policy cannot be made without knowing what is going on in the countryside," he added.

The move will also provide more sound prospects for college graduates who take the grassroots jobs upon graduation, Liu said.

"It's a good sign for college graduates who hesitate to take jobs at the village level. The message will encourage more young people to find jobs in the countryside and alleviate the employment pressure at cities."

Source:China Daily
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