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Half of College Graduates Employed
Around half of this year's college graduates in China have found jobs, the Ministry of Education announced Thursday.

The news comes as 2.12 million graduates -- a record number -- flood an employment market rocked by SARS, which closed many job fairs and made face-to-face interviews impossible.

According to Lin Huiqing, head of the ministry's student department, up to 60 percent of students -- the same percentage as last year -- are expected to find jobs by early or mid July, when they all leave university.

The ministries of education, personnel, labor and social security and the Communist Youth League of China are now working together to help graduates get jobs.

More than 300,000 graduates have registered at the www.myjob.edu.cn website, established by the Ministry of Education earlier this month to help link students with employers.

From June 18 to 24, an online job fair was held on the website, attracting 2,150 employers and 37 million internet hits.

According to Lu Yongzheng, director of the center for volunteers' activities under the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League of China, the campaign to encourage college graduates to work in the country's western regions, launched earlier this month, has proven popular.

By Wednesday, more than 40,000 graduates had registered to work in western regions, Lu said Thursday.

He said about 5,000 to 6,000 will be selected and sent to their western destinations in early September, where each will work for one or two years.

After that, students can decide whether to stay or not.

Meanwhile, authorities have launched a training program for graduates from higher-education vocational institutes, according to Liu Kang, vice-director of the employment department under the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.

Currently, only 30 percent of graduates from such institutes have signed contracts with employers.

The program, running from late this month till September, will include technical training and certification. It mainly targets graduates in big and medium-sized cities which are home to many higher-education vocational institutes.

(China Daily June 27, 2003)

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