Schools across China will hire 50,000 college graduates as short-term teachers this year to help ease employment pressure.
That is almost triple the number of teachers hired last year.
They will work under three-year contracts with local education departments and be paid by a special central government fund, the Ministry of Education said.
"Most of the jobs are only open to students who will graduate from colleges this year," ministry spokeswoman Xu Mei said on Wednesday.
"But some teaching positions are open to outstanding degree holders who graduated in past years, such as those who have volunteer teaching experience in rural schools," she said.
The short-term teacher project was launched in 2006 to help college graduates find employment.
The teachers will work at primary and high schools, mostly in rural areas.
Besides salary from the central government, they may get bonuses and subsidies from local governments, Xu said.
After the three-year contract expires, schools will decide whether to renew the contracts.
The teachers will be recruited through public job fairs.
The ministry also announced other policies this week to help ease employment pressure on college graduates.
Graduates recruited by the army will have their education loans paid by the government and those who are awarded an honor in the army can be recruited as postgraduate students without taking the difficult entrance examination.
The country will also provide subsidies and reduce taxes for small and middle-sized enterprises that recruit college graduates this year.
To promote employment, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MHRSS) urged local departments to create more jobs for graduates.
"Local governments will provide special subsidies for college graduates who work at the grassroots," Wang Yadong, deputy director of MHRSS' employment promotion department, said in an earlier interview.
Special funds and subsidies have been earmarked to encourage college graduates to work in rural and grassroots positions or to start their own businesses.
However, "most graduates are focusing on jobs in large cities and few would like to start their own businesses", Wang said.
A recent study by the MHRSS found only 0.3 percent of college graduates in 2007 started their own businesses.
That is much lower than some developed countries where the rate is about 40 percent.
A total of 6.11 million fresh graduates - 520,000 more than in 2008 - are expected to enter the job market this year. (By Wang Ying (China Daily) Updated: 2009-03-20 08:05)