The State Council announced Wednesday that recent college graduates who take jobs in western or central China will receive a full refund of their tuition fees, reported state media. The new plan was announced following a cabinet meeting chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao which discussed how to help graduates find jobs. An expert on employment at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) said that this is the first time the government has offered to refund tuition fees. CASS estimates that the unemployment rate among new graduates was over 12% at the end of last year. Other employment stimulus measures included a lifting of hukou (residence permit) restrictions for graduates who find work outside of their home towns, incentives for graduates to seek work with small- and medium-sized enterprises and private companies, and tax and loan incentives for graduate entrepreneurs. These measure come amid reports of desperation among recent graduates. According to Guangzhou Daily, some graduates in Guangdong have begun seeking work as nannies.
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