Youths want fair play in job-hunting


A job applicant looks on at a recruitment fair in Shanghai, east China, on May 25, 2013.  


Job applicants look on at a recruitment fair in Shanghai, east China, on May 25, 2013.

As the annual job hunting season for college graduates arrives, many students are busy

with attending various job fairs.   Photos by Ding Ting


By Wang Xiaopeng, Qin Huajiang and Yang Dingmiao

Less than one month away from graduation, Jiang Zhiquan, a postgraduate student in Nanjing, capital city of east Jiangsu Province, grows anxious day by day as he still hunts for a job.

In his latest effort to grab one, the 26-year-old failed to pass the provincial test for public servants in Jiangsu. “I think may be I was born at the wrong time,” Jiang said jokingly when talking about the fierce competition he is facing.

The number of college graduates this year is expected to hit a record high since 1949, with some 6.99 million students graduating from vocational colleges and universities, up 190,000 year on year, according to the Ministry of Education.

The pressure of finding a job is mounting, even in municipalities like Beijing and Shanghai. Statistics from the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission showed that only 44.4 percent of the city’s university graduates had signed employment contracts by May 10, down 2 percentage points year on year.

In stark contrast to Jiang’s anxiety, some local officials are taking advantage of their power to secure jobs for their sons or daughters.

In one scandal, a government official in central China’s Henan Province was suspended from his position following the discovery of his son’s fake employment by an anonymous tipster, according to local authorities Wednesday.

Zhao Shuqi, director of the River Management Department of the Yexian County Water Conservancy Bureau, had arranged for his son Zhao Zihang to receive a salary from the department since 2007, despite the fact that he does not actually work there. Zhao is still a vocational college student.

The fake employment scandal was exposed amid a series of quick promotions of young Chinese people born after 1980 that had resulted in heated online discussions on equal access to opportunities for youths.

A young professor in Wuhan University was also the subject of an online debate last month. Born in 1985, Deng Hexiang, surprised many of his peers who are still at the early stage of their careers by a brief introduction posted on the official website of Wuhan University in central China’s Hubei Province.

Once the university released Deng’s detailed resume, which featured a doctor’s degree in chemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a couple of papers published in prestigious journals including “Nature” and “Science,” members of the public who questioned his qualifications are left “envious.”

In China, even professors at the most prestigious universities find it hard to publish research results in such top journals.

Yu Guoming, a professor with the Beijing-based Renmin University, said the public are sensitive to fake employments and quick promotions because they are concerned about equal job opportunities and transparency in moving up the career ladder.

Yu’s view is echoed by Ding Yuanzhu, a professor with the Chinese Academy of Governance. Ding said it is not age that caused suspicion but equal access to opportunities and transparency are what people really cared about in such cases.

Jiang admitted that he admired Deng Hexiang’s achievements, but said he is angered by the fake employment scandal. He told Xinhua if jobs can be easily secured by one’s relatives, a person from a rural area like him will be left in a very disadvantaged position.

The fake employment scandal revealed that in some places appointments of officials are still conducted in a nontransparent way.

In recent months, Internet users uncovered a couple of government officials who were promoted in violation of regulations. In one case in March, Xu Tao, deputy head of the county government in central China’s Hunan Province, was found to have been promoted but not through standard procedures. He was demoted in May.

Young Chinese people want to realize their dreams through hard work but fake employment and quick promotion scandals weigh on them, said Xiong Bingqi, vice president of the Beijing-based 21st Century Education Research Institute.

President Xi Jinping encouraged the youth to be brave in chasing their dreams and work hard to fulfill them while joining young people in a discussion to mark the country’s Youth Day on May 4.

Xi asked all levels of Party committees and the government to create favorable conditions for young people’s career development.

At a time when landing a job is not easy, graduates are more worried about equal job opportunities than the lack of job vacancies, Xiong said.

In addition to cracking down on corruption regarding employment, the government should work hard to create regulations and laws that will spur equity in employment, Xiong added.





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