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November 28, 2011

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Home » Metro » Education

Testing times for job seekers

MORE than 30,000 people in Shanghai joined nearly 1 million applicants nationwide in an annual exam for civil service positions yesterday.

The exam, organized by the State Administration of Civil Service, offers both fresh graduates and experienced employees the chance to land a job at central government agencies and its branches around the country.

Government agencies have almost 18,000 positions open next year, a record, Xinhua news agency reported.

Most of the positions require at least two years' experience and that has led to a drop in the number of applicants from last year's 1.03 million nationwide when 85 percent of posts had a minimum work experience requirement.

However, despite the increase in the number of jobs and fewer candidates, competition is still fierce as only one person out of every 53 who take the exam can land a government job. In the past two years the ratios were 1 in 63 and 1 in 59.

Competition is even fiercer for some positions. For instance, more than 4,000 people are competing for a single opening at the State Ethnic Affairs Commission, Xinhua said.

Many Chinese look to central government jobs as their first choice in job hunting, as those jobs offer stability and a variety of benefits, including low-cost medical care, affordable housing and transportation subsidies.

"Government jobs are hot cakes among job seekers thanks to the occupations' stability and admirable welfare benefits," said one Shanghai test takers who had taken the exam three times.

At Shibei Middle School, one of the 139 exam sites in Shanghai, many of the examinees are repeated test takers who failed in last year's recruitment but are still trying.

The exam involves two written tests. The first features multiple-choice questions concerning the Chinese language, as well as maths and logic. The second test gauges the candidates' writing skills and reasoning on certain topics.

Those who pass the first round of testing will take more examinations, including specialized tests, and face interviews organized by different government departments.

Shanghai is also recruiting 3,739 civil servants at its city-level government agencies. An online sign-up is under way before a written test is held on December 31.


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