Amid rising concern about the grim employment prospects facing more than 7 million college and university graduates this year, Premier Wen Jiabao told those about to enter the job market in Xian that the central government would do everything it could to help them land proper jobs.
Mr Wen, on a three-day tour of Shaanxi province that ended yesterday, attended a job fair in the ancient provincial capital on Friday, Xinhua reported.
He told about 2,500 students that his cabinet had listed creating more jobs for graduates as one of its top priorities this year.
'The government understands that it takes a lot of effort from both government and students for you to reach graduation, so we will do everything we can to create more jobs,' he said.
In a tour of Xian Jiaotong University yesterday, Mr Wen encouraged students to widen their employment search to include grass-roots jobs and cited himself as an example.
'Upon my graduation, when I left for the northwest on an overcrowded train, I told myself no matter what I got in the new job, I would give it 100 per cent effort,' he said. 'So my advice to you is no matter what you do after graduation, you should give it all your effort.'
The Ministry of Education said last week that about 48 per cent of the mainland's 6 million graduates had managed to land jobs, though statistics from provinces such as Hubei, Guangdong and Sichuan depicted a rather bleak picture.
The State Council issued a five-point guideline for helping graduates find jobs, urging provincial and lower-level governments to do anything they could to create more employment. Students in poorer western regions will receive extra internship subsidies from the government for up to a year.
Graduates in Xian are among those who would enjoy such subsidies from Beijing. Mr Wen told them to persist with their job hunt and said an improved mainland economy would help address the issue.
'I can tell you that the economic situation has been better than I had expected,' Mr Wen said, according to transcript posted on the university's website.
The premier also visited villages and industries in Xian, urging farmers to secure their hard-earned harvest and companies to work creatively to cope with the mainland's current economic difficulties.