Job fairs begin to work better for foreigners

16:29, May 06, 2011      

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Foreigners discuss employment opportunities at a job fair in a Beijing hotel on April 16. More than 1,600 vacancies, across an ever-increasing range, were on offer.(Source: China Daily)
Offers becoming more varied as growing number of professionals from overseas seek employment in China, reports Wang Yan in Beijing.

Spring marks the high season for recruitment, when college students rush to job fairs before graduation in June. Stephen Baron, 25, was part of the throng.

The difference is that the fair he went to was especially for foreigners.

Baron came to China from England in September 2009. He is studying Chinese at Tsinghua University in Beijing, and expects to complete the program in July. He graduated with a master's degree in international business in 2010 from the University of Nottingham Ningbo, China.

Shuttling among the employers' booths at a one-day April job fair in Beijing, Baron said he is equally open to jobs in any suitable field, although his primary choice is in management consultancy.

He came to the right place at the right time, at least in Xia Bing's opinion. Xia is director of the Information Research Center of International Talent at the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA), sponsors of the job fair.

"The job offers are becoming ever more varied," Xia said. "In our first job fair a few years ago, all offers were for teaching positions that only focused on language skills or the cultural background of the applicants. It didn't change much even after the third fair, when about 95 percent of the openings were for teaching positions. Now teaching positions make up only half of the offers."

Those positions, he said, include jobs in the media, information technology, manufacturing, finance and medicine.

SAFEA started holding job fairs for foreigners in January 2005. Only 17 employers and 25 foreign job hunters showed up. "In contrast, we saw about 1,200 to 1,500 job hunters coming to the job fair this year," Xia said.

His office said 460,000 foreign experts were working in China last year, up from 440,000 in 2008, and the SAFEA job fair is the only one in the country that targets foreigners. The April fair was the eighth in Beijing and the 11th nationwide, and more than 130 employers set up stands, looking to fill about 1,600 job vacancies.

The hirers came from Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shanxi, Liaoning, Heilongjiang, Anhui, Fujian, Shandong, Guangdong, Jiangsu and other cities and provinces. Among them were representatives of the Beijing Economic and Technology Development Zone, Shougang Group, China Gezhouba (Group) Corp and China Agricultural University.

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Source: China Daily
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