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  Ministry urges better job guidance for graduates

The Ministry of Education has urged education departments across the country to offer better employment guidance and support to college graduates so that they can find proper jobs even in these difficult financial times.

"The grim economic situation poses an unprecedented challenge for college graduates to get a proper job. A series of new steps should be taken to broaden the job-seeking channels," the ministry said on its website yesterday.

"The education departments should hold more and larger job fairs next year to provide better communication between employers and college graduates," it said.

More than 6 million students will graduate next year and some of them have already begun seeking jobs.

Graduates who commit to work in remote and rural areas for a given period will be exempt from paying college tuition fees, the ministry said on Monday. And the government will pay off their education loans or grant them free admission to postgraduate courses.

The government will recruit over 30,000 college graduates next year to teach in rural schools in western regions.

The government adopted a plan in 2006 to send college graduates to rural schools as teachers, and will employ 100,000 graduates in villages in five years, starting from 2008.

On the Ministry of Education's suggestion, the army will absorb more college students next year, and the figure will be nearly equal to the total quota for 2006 and 2007: 16,000 and 17,000.

Other plans to help new graduates include raising the number of seats in full-time postgraduate or second-degree courses, which many Chinese college students could join to postpone their job-hunting exercise and look for better ones with a higher degree a couple of years later.

A colossal number of students graduate from China's colleges each year and their success rate in finding jobs varies.

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