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July 18, 2012

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Parents stymie some young job seekers

GAO, 30, finally landed a position in a local post office in IT system maintenance recently after searching for more than a year.

He is among tens of thousands of local young people below age 35 who were unemployed and registered with a government assistance program to increase job opportunities.

Compared to many of his peers who had only vocational school degrees or lower educational backgrounds, Gao, a Yangpu District resident, was a better-qualified job seeker after his graduation from college with a major in computer and Internet technology.

There were 64,000 registered unemployed local young people in Shanghai by the end of June, the local labor bureau said yesterday.

The number includes about 9,500 looking for work for more than a year.

The total number of jobless among younger people has improved from a higher 80,000 at the end of March.

But the labor authorities said the group's current unemployment percentage is still higher than the same period last year.

Given a sluggish economic climate, the employment environment for this group remains unfavorable.

"In Gao's case, he would have found a job more smoothly if not for the strong disagreement between him and his mother about what job to seek," said Wu Ting, the chief job consultant with the Yangpu District Employment Promotion Center. Such government-funded centers offer professional assistance to boost employment.

Job consultants in several districts with the assistance program said unnecessary intervention of parents is a major factor preventing many of the unemployed young people to find jobs quickly.

"Some parents make decisions for their children and are quite picky about the jobs. And in some other cases, conflicts are so strong that the parents and the children have intense fights right on the scene of job consultations at our office," Wu, the consultant, said.

Lack of experience and career planning also makes job hunting especially difficult for this group.

Most of the jobless young locals have little awareness that gathering experience is important, some job advisers said.

"Spotty job experience is shared by many of them," said an official, surnamed Fei, from the Laoximen neighborhood social service center in downtown Huangpu District.

"They have no idea what should be the most suitable job based on their skills. And they hardly have a plan. They quit too easily and frequently in past jobs, leaving behind no useful experience to help them find a better position," Fei said.

A new round of free consultation services such as personal assessment and skills training will start later this month across local districts.


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