China's civil servant exam to place more value on grassroots working experience

08:08, February 17, 2011      

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China's central and provincial governments will only be allowed to recruit new civil servants, except in some special posts, from applicants with at least two years of grassroots work experience by 2012, said a senior official Wednesday.

Yang Shiqiu, deputy head of China's State Administration of Civil Service (SACS), made the remarks in an interview with Xinhua, not offering details about what the special posts cover.

In a move to reform the civil service exam, the governments would improve the system to reserve vacancies for college graduates with experience as village officials, as well as workers and farmers.

The highly competitive annual National Public Servant Exam, offered in December last year in major cities across China, attracted 1.03 million candidates for 16,000 vacancies around the country.

This means roughly only one out of 64 exam takers could be accepted for a governmental job.

In an extreme case, 4,961 people contended for a single post offered by the National Energy Administration.

Yang said the reasons for this phenomenon were complex. Applicants might be driven by the attractive post, face fewer restrictions in recruiting conditions, or make decisions out of a certain blindness.

"One post may attract thousands of applicants, while others may end up with less or even no candidates," Yang said, hoping that job seekers would adopt a correct attitude toward the exam, which was extremely competitive in common people's views.

As China's employment situation in recent years became increasingly grim, the post of civil servant had become one of the important choices for job seekers, he noted.

Also, governments would continue to select the talents through fair, equal and public competition, he said.

Exam takers who did well in the first round of written tests will still face more examinations, including specialized tests and interviews organized by different government departments through the end of March this year.

Statistics from the SACS showed that the exams in the past five years had been taken by 11.77 million people, among whom 620,000 were recruited as civil servants.

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