1m hoping for job in civil service

07:59, December 06, 2010      

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More than 1 million Chinese took the annual National Public Servant Exam in 46 cities across the country yesterday, hoping to gain admittance to the civil service of the central authorities.

More than 35,000 people were qualified to sit this year's examination for civil servants in Shanghai, 5,000 fewer than last year.

Nationwide, numbers were also down for the first time.

Since 2004 an increasing number of people have qualified to sit the annual national examination. Numbers have risen from 120,000 in 2004 to more than 1.4 million last year.

However, Nie Shengkui, a senior official in charge of the exam with the State Administration of Civil Service, told Xinhua news agency the numbers had dropped this year.

The economy and people becoming more realistic about their chances were the two main reasons, Nie said.

"This year, we have 1.41 million qualified applicants, 30,000 less than last year," Nie said, adding that China's rapidly growing economy was providing many different kinds of job opportunities elsewhere.

Also, at least 85 percent of jobs with the central authorities this year required more than two years of work experience, which could dissuade college graduates from sitting the exam, Nie said.

The number of those taking the exam yesterday was 1.03 million, still ludicrously high given that only 16,000 jobs are up for grabs, Nie said.

This means roughly only one out of 64 exam takers can land a government job.

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

"The economy has bounced back from the downturn," said Wang Bin, one of those taking the test in Shanghai. "Firms are offering more job openings with increased salaries.

"Job seekers have more choices now. So I didn't give myself too much pressure and I came to the test without preparation."

At Wang's test center at Luwan Senior High School, five of the 30 examinees didn't show up yesterday.

In addition to the requirement for work experience, three departments - the Customs, tax authorities and rail police - are offering positions which are only open to or offer priority to farmers and workers for the first time this year in a national pilot program.

The first batch of 171 farmers and workers took the test yesterday, applying for 14 government posts.

Yesterday's exam involved two written tests. The first featured multi-choice questions concerning the Chinese language, as well as maths and logic. The second quizzed the candidates' writing skills and ideas on certain issues.

Exam takers still face more examinations including specialized tests and interviews until the end of March.

Source: Shanghai Daily


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