BEIJING: China will give priority to college graduates from urban families when applying to join the army, at a time when the job market is grave and the army seeks a boost in quality.
Among students in counties and cities, applicants with high school diploma can only be considered after the recruitment of college graduates, according to a statement released Friday on the website of the Ministry of Education.
Privileges will also be given to the current year's graduates and applicants with higher academic degrees.
China is under tremendous pressure to find jobs for 6.1 million college students graduating this summer while one million from last year are still looking for jobs, according to the Ministry of Education.
The country must find jobs for 32 percent of 6.11 million new graduates from universities and colleges as of July 1 and the employment ratio was roughly the same as in 2008, according to the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.
Meanwhile, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China has recruited more than 120,000 college graduates this year.
In the past, most recruits were high school graduates from rural families.
According to one of the country's favorable policies, college graduates recruited by the PLA will receive a one-off fund of up to 24,000 yuan (US$3,500) to compensate their college tuition fees and student loans.
PLA recruits are usually young men aged between 18 and 20 and young women of 18 or 19. But the age limit can be extended to 24 for those with a bachelor degree, according to the recruitment office of the Ministry of National Defense.
According to a report in July, the PLA's Air Force recruited 190 male trainee pilots this year from 3,956 applicants recommended by more than 500 common colleges and military academies.
It is the largest such intake since the Air Force started to select its pilot reserves from college graduates rather than high school graduates in 2000. (Xinhua) Updated: 2009-09-12 02:36