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Overcoming graduate unemployment in China

Updated: 14 Apr 2016

Stronger links between universities and employers, the development of both hard and soft skills, and improved communication from Government could help overcome high graduate unemployment in China, says recruiting experts Hays.  


The recruiter’s latest Hays Global Skill Index reveals that many employers struggle to find the skills they need.  According to the 2013 Hays Asia Salary Guide, the current employee base lacks the skills required to do their jobs effectively and employers struggle to fill vacancies due to skills shortages. These shortages are greatest in the IT, oil and gas, and telecoms sectors.


Yet at the same time, university graduates in China are experiencing the most difficult year finding jobs.


According to Simon Lance, Regional Director of Hays in China, this situation is the result of changes in China's economic structure and workforce, and the mismatch in expectations between employers and graduates.


The involvement of industry to prepare the graduates is critical. In addition to basic professional skills, employers want candidates with a strong team spirit, communication and language skills,” said Simon, “more importantly, the concept of internship experience has a large role to play in preparing graduates to employment.”


In order to bridge the needs of employers and graduates, Hays suggest:


  • Governments communicate the skills that are needed in the market and, in cooperation with universities, increase the quality and quantity of education for skills in short supply. Governments might also consider introducing incentive policies such as tax deductions to small and medium-sized firms to employ recent graduates.


  • Employers build stronger links with colleges and educators to communicate their specific needs for skills and improve their outreach by explaining the attraction of specific career choices.


  • Employers could also establish internships to give students the opportunity to gain insights into the career streams requiring skills.


  • University students should develop both hard and soft skills through internships and plan their careers carefully according to the needs of the market.


  • Fresh graduates need to manage their expectations and have a practical career development plan which represents a balance between their interests and their skills.


Hays China run its own internship program to help fresh graduates obtain practical skills as quickly as possible. Hays also conduct regular surveys and research to get a feel for the market and are committed to the development of China’s talent.


Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.


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For further information please contact Kathy Lou, Marketing Manager of Hays in China, on +86 (0) 21 2322 9600 or