1m who graduated last year still jobless: study

PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 January, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 04 January, 2008, 12:00am

A study has painted a gloomy picture for university graduates, reporting that nearly a quarter of college leavers from last year had failed to secure a job.

The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Blue Book on Social Development said about 1 million of last year's 4.7 million graduates had been unable to find a job months after they left school. The government should pay greater attention to the problem, the report said.

University authorities have been criticised for blindly pursuing expansion in the past few years at the expense of teaching quality.

Families have been forced to pay tens of thousands of yuan for four-year degrees, but many graduates have been unable to find jobs for months and even years.

Yang Yiyong, of the National Development and Reform Commission, said more graduates were failing to find jobs.

'The students are not to blame; rather it's the way they've been taught on campus,' Professor Yang said. 'To improve the higher learning system, more emphasis should be put on how to teach students to be more entrepreneurial.'

Citing Beijing's prestigious Tsinghua University as an example, Professor Yang said only 1 per cent of its graduates chose to start their own businesses. By contrast, in the United States, up to a quarter of graduates opted to do so.

Zhu Zhongwu , of China Stone Human Resource Consulting, said recent unchecked university expansion meant that the job market was oversupplied with graduates.

Mr Zhu said he often found many graduates did not have the skills needed in the workplace because teaching resources were overstretched.

'Both factors undercut the graduates' job chances and salary level,' he said.

Xie Chaoying, a law graduate in Beijing, said she did not see a problem in terms of her capabilities. 'But I have to take a very realistic approach by swallowing my pride and not expecting too much.'

Ms Xie, who works for a non-governmental organisation in Beijing, said students were rarely trained in job-searching skills and job market information.

The situation was such that 'many of my classmates have found a job through family networking instead', she added.

She said she found it difficult to look for work when she began the process last year, as there were so many graduates vying for jobs.