College graduates are being encouraged to work in China’s northeast rustbelt region as part of measures to rejuvenate the area, according to a guideline released on Jan 24.
They will also be encouraged to work in grassroots organizations in the country’s central and western regions, as well as other less-developed areas, said the document jointly issued by the general offices of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council.
This is the first time Northeast China has been mentioned as a region the central government wants graduates to work in and was issued ahead of this summer, when a record 7.95 million students are expected to graduate.
The guideline also stipulates that civil servant recruitment in agencies at or above the provincial-level will only consider candidates with at least two years of grassroots work experience, except in special circumstances.
It said preferential policies have been put in place to encourage graduates to join the People’s Liberation Army, work in small- and medium-sized enterprises, or start their own businesses.
In April, the CPC Central Committee and the State Council released a document vowing to rejuvenate the northeast rustbelt region with more reforms and economic restructuring measures.
State-owned enterprises will be restructured and private firms will get more support, said the document, which is reminiscent of a revitalization strategy rolled out by the central government in 2003.
The northeast, including Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces, was among the first industrialized regions in China with traditional industries including steel, automobile, shipbuilding, aircraft manufacturing and petroleum refining. As an industrial hub, it once supplied the whole country with machinery, energy and farm produce.
However, China’s southern regions, including Guangdong and Zhejiang provinces, rapidly caught up in the 1980s and the once robust region has seen a more-acute economic slowdown than the rest of the country. Depleted energy resources and unemployment have become acute problems for the region.