College graduates look for jobs at a hiring event on campus at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, Hubei province. Wuhan is offering graduates affordable housing, more easily obtained residence permits and other perks to attract talent to the city.
Wuhan, capital of Hubei province, is boosting its campaign to attract talent by providing more affordable housing and job offers for college graduates.
Over 205,000 college graduates have settled down in Wuhan during the first nine months of the year. Among them, 137,000 are this year's graduates, an increase of 18.7 percent over the same period last year, according to the local government.
In February, the city announced a plan to attract 1 million university graduates in the next five years by offering such things as more easily obtained residency permits and lower housing prices.
By November, the city had prepared 6,816 rental apartments at affordable prices for college graduates, according to local housing authorities.
By the end of November, 6,084 people had applied for the apartments and 5,331 had been approved. The first 1,894 have moved in, while others are still in the process.
Huang Peng, a graduate of Hubei University, lives in a one-bedroom apartment of 50 square meters in Mulanjun Talent Apartment, where he pays monthly rent of 100 yuan ().
"I spend less on housing than my college friends," said Huang, who added that he feels satisfied with his apartment, which has air conditioning, a water heater, television and a washing machine.
"I earn about 3,500 yuan every month after tax and insurance, so the housing cost accounts for less than 3 percent of my take-home pay," he said.
There are 129 apartments in Mulanjun, and the young graduates living there can spend their spare time and make friends in the gym, video room and coffee bar they can access at no cost inside the building.
Zou Yanrong, a graduate of Wuhan University of Science and Technology, has also been aided by the campaign. Zou lives in a studio apartment in a building converted from a hotel. She pays 590 yuan monthly with free water, electricity, Wi-Fi service and property management fees.
There are 72 studio apartments in the building, a cafeteria and public kitchen for the graduates living there, Zou said.
On Nov 11, the city set a minimum annual salary to attract graduates — 40,000 yuan for vocational college graduates, 50,000 yuan for university graduates, and 60,000 yuan and 80,000 yuan for graduates with master's and doctoral degrees.
By the end of November, the government had held five job fairs, in which 41,998 jobs were offered by 1,611 companies, and about 15,000 people had registered their interest in the jobs.
In order to encourage graduates to start their own businesses, each of 200 selected startup teams of college students or those who have graduated within five years will receive a 100,000 yuan subsidy.