The expanded China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone will loosen employment policies for overseas candidates and give international students the chance to work in the zone, said Sun Jiwei, head of Pudong New Area.
With the rise of international universities such as New York University Shanghai, there will be more international students willing to work in Shanghai, Sun said at a news conference.
New York University Shanghai recruited its first 300 students in 2013, and half of them are international students. By 2020, the number of international students at the school is expected to peak at 1,000. According to the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission, there were over 53,800 international students studying in Shanghai in 2013, 30 percent more than in 2010.
It used to be impossible for newly graduated foreign students to work in China. According to the regulations of the Bureau of Exit and Entry Administration of the Ministry of Public Security, foreigners with at least two years of work experience aged between 24 and 60 are able to apply for a work permit in China.
“I am in full support of the local government’s open attitude in the talent policy,” said Pete Chia, managing director of recruitment service BRecruit China.
“But we are still waiting for detailed regulations for international students. In my opinion, the local government should be clear-cut about the purpose and the measurements of this new policy, which means that they know very well what they want to achieve in the next few years with the new policy,” Chia said.
“These international students should provide added value to the Chinese job market. In other words, they should be armed with skill sets that can’t be found among the local talent,” he said.
Apart from adjusting the employment policies for international students, the zone will also cancel the maximum allowable age limit.
“This one-size-fits-all policy seems not to fit the goal of attracting high-end overseas talent,” said Sun.
According to Jiang Weiming, president of DSM China, a Dutch material science company, experts who have had years of experience are of great importance to companies.
Chia said the loosened policy has signaled a brain drain of Chinese domestic talent as well as a mismatch between labor supply and the job market.
In late May, Shanghai released 22 measures, including providing permanent resident permits for high-level overseas talent and giving subsidies to high-tech professionals, aimed at transforming the city into a global technological innovation center.