College graduates' employment is on top of the government's agenda, Premier Wen Jiabao told students at a Beijing university on Saturday.
The students present in the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Aerospace's library greeted his announcement with cheers.
"Your difficulties are my difficulties, and if you are worried then I am more worried than you," Wen said.
He was on a surprise visit to the university at the end of a yearlong youth exchange program between China and Japan.
The government is determined to help 6.5 million graduates find jobs next year amid the global financial crisis, which has made many job hunters pessimistic.
A Chinese Academy of Social Sciences report, issued last week, said a quarter of China's college graduates would have difficulty finding a job next year.
But Wen said: "Students, please rest at ease, we are putting the problem of graduates' employment on top of our agenda."
"We're most worried about two issues (created by the global financial crisis). One is of migrant workers returning home, and the other of jobs for graduates," he said.
The government will try to create 9 million jobs next year, based on an 8 percent GDP growth, Wen said.
All the 6.5 million students expected to graduate next year are covered by the plan.
The government will work on a policy package to stimulate major scientific research projects and large enterprises to create jobs for graduates, he said.
Some graduates will be encouraged to work for research programs in their universities, too, and relevant ministries asked to make the procedure smooth, he said.
The State Council issued a directive on Saturday, too, asking companies to avoid large-scale lay-offs and solve any labor disputes, especially those over pay, on a priority basis.
Many migrant workers have returned home after being fired by companies, a number of which have suffered a lot because of falling demands overseas.
"Companies that down shutters or go bankrupt must strictly follow the law, and owners who unnecessarily hold back wages or run off without paying workers will be firmly dealt with," reads the directive issued by the country's Cabinet.
（英语点津 Helen 编辑）
Brendan joined The China Daily in 2007 as a language polisher in the Language Tips Department, where he writes a regular column for Chinese English Language learners, reads audio news for listeners and anchors the weekly video news in addition to assisting with on location stories. Elsewhere he writes Op’Ed pieces with a China focus that feature in the Daily’s Website opinion section.
He received his B.A. and Post Grad Dip from Curtin University in 1997 and his Masters in Community Development and Management from Charles Darwin University in 2003. He has taught in Japan, England, Australia and most recently China. His articles have featured in the Bangkok Post, The Taipei Times, The Asia News Network and in-flight magazines.