China grads seek maid jobs

BEIJING - DESPERATE Chinese graduates, facing grim job prospects amid slowing economic growth, are clamouring to find posts as nannies and domestic helpers for the rich in one southern province, state media reported on Wednesday.

Thousands of university students had applied for nanny work through an agency in China's export heartland of Guangdong, the Guangzhou Daily newspaper said.

'There have been five or six hundred people applying every month, with more than 90 per cent of them university students, including 28 Masters students,' the paper quoted a housekeeping recruitment agent as saying.

Only 300 out of 2,000 students had landed jobs over the past few months, however, as slowing growth had seen companies go bankrupt and foreign businessmen desert the province in droves, the agency said.

Chinese labour officials have repeatedly warned the country's 6.1 million graduates that they will face tough times finding work this year and told them not to be fussy.

Fearing rising discontent from students, who led pro-democracy protests in Beijing in 1989 brutally put down by the government, local labour authorities have issued a slew of measures to encourage company recruitment.

Beijing's labour and social security bureau said it would slash employee health and injury insurance costs among other incentives to encourage companies to hire, the Beijing Times said in a separate report.

University students are also being encouraged to stay at school longer in south-eastern Fujian province, which will push 20,000 more students into second or higher degrees, state media said. -- REUTERS


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