Civil service remains attractive

By Chen Xin (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-10-25 15:53
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Tough competition, with more than 4,000 applicants for some positions

BEIJING - The tough competition for a job in the civil service, in which more than 4,000 applications are received for some jobs, has not diminished applicants' desire to be a civil servant.

The number of qualified applicants who registered to take the 2011 national civil servants examination surpassed 1 million as of Saturday, according to official figures.

This year's number is likely to surpass last year's 1.46 million, Liu Xutao, a professor at the Beijing-based Chinese Academy of Governance, told China Daily on Sunday.

"Many people may not apply until the last day. In doing so, they can apply for another position if competition for the one they desire becomes too hot," Liu said.

Although the deadline for applications was at midnight on Sunday, the total number of applicants will not be known until Tuesday. It will take two days to examine the qualifications of applicants who wait until the last minute.

A total of 137 central authorities and institutions plan to recruit 16,000 civil servants in 2011, 1,000 more than in 2010.

Many people believe that a job in the civil service is stable, carries a number of benefits.

Jobs in the civil service that are in high demand vary by department.

The most sought-after positions as of 4 pm on Sunday included the National Energy Administration, which received 4,261 applications for a single job, and a role in the Ministry of Culture, with 3,556 applicants.

In contrast, 200 positions at the General Administration of Civil Aviation and the China Meteorological Administration have yet to receive any applications.

"There are strict requirements for these positions, depending on an applicant's college major and working experience at the grassroots level," said Liu, who attributed the lack of applications for these roles to candidates' reluctance to work at this level in remote areas.

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On Oct 21, the seventh day since online applications were opened, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security released a list of positions in remote and western regions that had received few applications, in an effort to boost interest in the roles.

According to the ministry, approximately 85 percent of the current vacancies require at least two years of experience at the grassroots level, 15 percentage points more than last year.

In a new recruitment drive, for the first time the central government will recruit farmers and workers as civil servants for the customs and taxation sectors, as well as for railway police stations at county, township and village levels.

To make rural areas more attractive, another 100 positions will be reserved for college graduates to work as village heads.

The exam, which tests applicants' language skills and other aptitudes, will be held on Dec 5 in major cities across the country. Those who pass will be invited for an interview.

While 1.46 million people applied to take the 2010 exam, only two-thirds actually sat the test, according to Xinhua News Agency.

The 2011 exam could have a similar result, Liu said. "It is easy to fill out an online application. Some people randomly apply, but never take the exam."

Fierce competition for the most sought-after positions can also cause some applicants to lose confidence, he added.