As soon as the graduation ceremonies come to an end, newly turned out university graduates have to look for jobs, pounding the keyboards and working their mobile phones. Taiwan’s unemployment rate last year was 4.39 percent, with the jobless rate for new graduates aged 20 to 24 hitting a high of 12.71 percent.
That means new graduates account for much of the overall level of unemployment. This could be because new graduates are waiting to find their ideal job or are preparing to undertake national professional examinations and many do not have immediate financial pressure placed on them by their families after graduation, given the nation’s low birth rate. In economic terms, this is known as frictional unemployment.
Given the high unemployment rate for new graduates, Premier Sean Chen (陳冲) has highlighted that several programs have been launched to create more job opportunities and increase resource allocation to fresh graduates including youth business start-up loan schemes and a farm rental program. The youth business start-up loan aims to assist and provide training to young people to help them start their own business in their home town, which could also potentially fill up more local job vacancies. The farm rental initiative, a Council of Agriculture project, helps young people who are interested in farming and agriculture to rent farms from landowners and give them support.
Meanwhile, surveys by the recruitment Web site 1111 Job Bank found that companies are less likely to recruit fresh graduates and this has gradually increased over time. Most jobs are largely open only to candidates with a certain level of experience or type of higher education degree.
Another recruitment agency, 104 Job Bank, has said that graduates from technical colleges are more likely to obtain job interviews than graduates from other institutions. The main reason is technology college students get specialist skills training which involves taking tests or programs for professional licenses and certificates during their school years.
China’s Taiwan Affairs Office has also announced that it will relax regulations on Taiwanese students and residents who want to work in China, which could cause a China-driven brain drain.
Given these challenges, the government should review its labor policy by taking into consideration the nation’s low birth rate and its aging population and launch reforms to upgrade industries. Taiwanese entrepreneurs, for their part, should consider building up a more comprehensive supply chain and bring to an end some of their costly and inefficient outsourcing to create more local job opportunities. Furthermore, in-school training and internship programs are needed to strengthen the abilities of young people to meet employers’ expectations, thus encouraging the latter to hire new graduates.
Cooperation between industry and universities could be another way to help young people enter the labor market, but the government needs to have relevant policies in place to protect these inexperienced youngsters from being exploited.
Gary Chen is a public relations officer and international affairs specialist at the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research.
With its passing of Hong Kong’s new National Security Law, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) continues to tighten its noose on Hong Kong. Gone is the broken 1997 promise that Hong Kong would have free, democratic elections by 2017. Gone also is any semblance that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) plays the long game. All the CCP had to do was hold the fort until 2047, when the “one country, two systems” framework would end and Hong Kong would rejoin the “motherland.” It would be a “demonstration-free” event. Instead, with the seemingly benevolent velvet glove off, the CCP has revealed its true iron
At the end of last month, Paraguayan Ambassador to Taiwan Marcial Bobadilla Guillen told a group of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators that his president had decided to maintain diplomatic ties with Taiwan, despite pressure from the Chinese government and local businesses who would like to see a switch to Beijing. This followed the Paraguayan Senate earlier this year voting against a proposal to establish ties with China in exchange for medical supplies. This constituted a double rebuke of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) diplomatic agenda in a six-month span from Taiwan’s only diplomatic ally in South America. Last year, Tuvalu rejected an
US President Donald Trump on Thursday issued executive orders barring Americans from conducting business with WeChat owner Tencent Holdings and ByteDance, the Beijing-based owner of popular video-sharing app TikTok. The orders are to take effect 45 days after they were signed, which is Sept. 20. The orders accuse WeChat of helping the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) review and remove content that it considers to be politically sensitive, and of using fabricated news to benefit itself. The White House has accused TikTok of collecting users’ information, location data and browsing histories, which could be used by the Chinese government, and pose
US President Donald Trump’s administration on Friday last week announced it would impose sanctions on the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, a vast paramilitary organization that is directly controlled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and has been linked to human rights violations against Uighurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang. The sanctions follow US travel bans against other Xinjiang officials and the passage of the US Hong Kong Autonomy Act, which authorizes targeted sanctions against mainland Chinese and Hong Kong officials, in response to Beijing’s imposition of national security legislation on the territory. The sanctions against the corps would be implemented