In China, more than 7 million college graduates will search for employment over the course of this year. Add that to an anticipated 20 million migrant workers who will be out of work this year as a result of closing export-fixated factories, and a population the size of Malaysia is without an income and growing restless.
China’s government is taking action.
Last December, top officials met to address the issue of unemployment among college graduates. According to a statement issued through the government website, the State Council announced its decision to make employment for graduates a top priority.
At the end of January, the State Council announced a plan to provide additional job training for new graduates as well as financial incentives to both graduates and companies.
While the plight of unemployed migrant workers is also cause for concern, the government sees the recent graduates differently.
The graduates have higher expectations, there’s been greater investment in them, and the country wants to depend on them to be managers and entrepreneurs helping to move beyond lower levels of production.
When a significant portion of a country’s population — more than 12% to be exact — consists of unemployed college graduates who often feel entitled to better job support, there’s good reason for the Chinese government officials to start wringing their hands.
US-China Today covers the subject in great detail. It points out that in the countryside, students can work as teachers or assistants to rural officials.
According to Bloomberg.com, the government has already recruited 20,000 people to participate in the program and has plans to expand recruitment by 100,000 by the year 2012, ‘but this covers only a tiny number of college and university graduates,” said Gerald Postiglione, a professor of education at the University of Hong Kong.
‘It is probably an idea worth trying,’Brown said, ‘but I can’t see it as a long term solution. These graduates have been working hard in order to get away from the less developed areas of the Chinese economy, not be sent there.’