The job market saw stable growth in the first quarter of this year, with the increase of new positions surpassing the rise in applicants, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security said on April 7.
Compared to the first quarter last year, the number of new jobs increased 7.8 percent, while applicants grew 2.1 percent, according to the Ministry’s latest survey of 100 cities.
A total of 1.88 million new jobs were added in January and February in China’s urban areas, an increase of 160,000 compared to the same period last year. Statistics for March are still being collected.
“But challenges still exist with the increase of fresh graduates this year,” Zhang Yizhen, vice-minister of the ministry, said at news conference on April 7.
A record 8.95 million college students are expected to enter the job market in the summer, along with more than 4 million students from secondary occupational schools.
“However, fresh college graduates and workers lack the necessary skills that the labor market really needs, which is the main contradiction between supply and demand of employment,” Zhang said.
Some encouraging policies will be further strengthened to solve the problem, according to the ministry.
Local governments will be encouraged to set up funds for college graduates to start their own businesses, and one-time subsidies will be granted to those who have difficulty finding a job in some pilot regions.
Social organizations that hire graduates could enjoy the same supportive policies for building job-rich industries, according to Zhang.
Apart from that, vocational education and training will be strengthened through accelerating the development of modern vocational education.
Centralized training will also be encouraged through purchasing whole training programs or directly subsidizing training agencies. Migrant workers will also be included into some training programs.
“China has built the world’s largest vocational education system with more than 16 million secondary vocational education students,” said Lu Mai, secretary-general of China Development Research Foundation.
“They are whom we should give special care and help to,” he said. “We hope vocational education could foster them to be optimistic, healthy people with modern skills.”