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September 25, 2009

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Home » Metro » Education

Drive for talent proves center of attention

A PUDONG New Area government-funded program which provides free accommodation and career training to financial or shipping professionals yesterday broadened its horizons in a bid to attract more talent to the city.

The program, which once only accepted applicants highly recommended by universities and businesses, has opened an online channel to receive individual applications.

"We want to help attract many more global professionals," said King Nan, deputy general manager of Oracle Bay, a training center which runs the program.

The center, not linked to the Oracle software company, was launched in the Lujiazui financial zone three months ago.

However, officials were disappointed with enrollments and deemed the admission method as inefficient.

The center can accommodate 217 people for six-month courses.

So far, only two overseas professionals have enrolled, while fresh domestic postgraduates accounted for 80 percent of the first batch of 92 applicants.

Yang Zhicheng, one of the overseas participants, said he was recommended for the course by his new company's human resources department after returning from the United States in July.

Yang, from central China's Hunan Province, said the center, with tidy dorms and cafeterias, had been a savior in his first month in the city.

But it appears the center needs to improve basic facilities to attract the elite. Some participants, for example, long for a kitchen in their apartments.

Yang has rented another house outside the center to enjoy a more comfortable lifestyle.

Nan said that it was natural for elite professionals on a high income to rent an outside apartment.

"We just want to help non-local elites make a smooth transition to the city," Nan said.

The program has an ambitious goal of nurturing tens of thousands of professionals as part of the city's overall plan of becoming an international financial center by 2020.


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