China's State Council announced over the weekend a plan to provide incentives to job-seeking college graduates, including professional training and preferential loans for start-ups. The government said it would help train one million unemployed college graduates in the coming three years to make them better qualified for jobs [instead of blasting each other all day in MMORPGS, presumably].I am frickin' amused. Just as Chairman Mao created the "sent down generation" of tertiary-educated Chinese carted off to the provinces to do...nobody knows precisely what even now, today's newly-minted graduates are being encouraged to go to the provinces instead of expending youthful energy championing freedom in the major cities. Yes, it's the Cultural Revolution Reloaded.
The Cabinet also said that civil service posts and state-owned companies should not charge job application fees from college graduates whose families are in financial hardship [!] For graduates who are willing to work in rural areas or join the armed forces, the loans for completing their college education might be partially or fully waived, the notice said [my emphasis].
Labor-intensive companies are also encouraged to recruit college graduates, with preferential government loans up to two million yuan ($293,000) for each company. Any graduates who are willing to kick off their own business would qualify for small loans of 50,000 yuan each.
The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security said that as of December 31, there were 8.86 million urban residents registered as unemployed, 560,000 more than at the end of the third quarter. [This is likely understated given the PRC's legendarily--how do I put this--"massaged" figures.]
The Communist gene in the PRC leadership may be dormant, but its past resurfaces every now and again. It's a pretty smart move for an authoritarian state bent on staying that way. After all, we're only in it for the money.