Xinjiang expects record college graduates to enter the job market
By Sun Tianyuan

College students in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region are welcoming another graduation season. This year, the number of college graduates here is expected to reach a record 97,000, 10 percent higher than last year, according to the regional education department.

As amazing as the increases are, here come's the question: Is Xinjiang's labor market ready to digest the number?

"We have record graduates, which is in accordance to the national growth in recent years. It certainly put a little pressure on our job market to ensure student employment rate. And the coronavirus epidemic posed another challenge for employment," said Gulizhaer Shadier, head of the office of student affairs from the education department of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

"But our work continues to broaden employment options for college graduates, and to help them better prepare for quality jobs and ensure that no one's left behind," Shadier added.

Local colleges have been busy arranging hiring events, both online, in light of epidemic control measures, and offline to help promote the talents to companies from across the region.

Xinjiang Agricultural University has conducted nearly 100 events alone this year, providing nearly 30,000 potential positions for its 4,000 graduates.

"We were able to bring in 10,000 more positions for the graduates compared to last year. In total, each graduate has seven positions to choose from, meaning their employment options have significantly broadened," said Xu Jian, deputy of the office of student affairs at Xinjiang Agricultural University.

Despite the influence of the COVID-19 epidemic, over the past months, more than 3,300 job events for students have taken place.

"So far, the events, both online and offline, have gone very well. They have provided pin-point services for students with the chance for face-to-face meetings with enterprises right on campus," said Shadier.

While online searches and interviews may be safer, some students still prefer the old-fashioned way of job hunting.

"I think the offline hiring events are great. I can talk to potential employers in person," said Sadam Satter, a senior student at the Xinjiang Institute of Engineering, who majors in civil engineering, adding, "I believe I can find the ideal job both for my family and me in the coming events."

As Xinjiang's economic engines recover from the impact of the latest epidemic, the on-campus hiring events also gave companies a window to seek fresh employees with clear intentions of joining their respective industries.

"We've seen stable growth in employment of graduates. The employment rate has increased 13.6 percent compared to last year. As of now, over 50 percent of the graduates have signed contracts," said Yu Huihuan, head of the admission and employment office of the Xinjiang Institute of Engineering.

The Institute estimates the number can reach around 90 percent before the students graduate. With more recruitment opportunities provided at this year's on-campus job fairs, students in Xinjiang look to have a wider range of choices as they prepare for their careers after graduation.

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