BEIJING, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- The State Council, or cabinet, pledged on Wednesday to give top priority to the employment of university graduates, reflecting the spread of the global financial crisis and the "austere" job situation.
Premier Wen Jiabao presided over a cabinet meeting on the issue of employment of university graduates. The meeting called these graduates China's "valuable human resources".
The council decided to adopt more measures to promote the employment of university graduates.
Subsidies and social insurance will be offered to graduates who work in villages and communities, and the government will help those who work in remote areas or join the Army to repay student loans, the meeting decided.
The government is encouraging graduates to work for small or private companies, the meeting said, noting that incentives will be given to companies that employ these graduates. It also urged large companies to hire more university graduates.
Graduates are encouraged to start businesses, with favorable tax and loan policies, the meeting said.
It also ordered universities to improve their job placement services, by providing free information and helping graduates find jobs.
The meeting also decided to set up and improve a mechanism to assist university graduates from poor families.
According to published reports, China had nearly 5.6 million university graduates in 2008, and this year, the figure is expected to top 6 million.