Free hotels ease job hunt for graduates

Updated: Apr 17, 2023 By Ma Zhenhuan chinadaily.com.cn Print
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College graduates seeking work in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, have found, to their pleasant surprise, that free hotel accommodation is available for up to a week.

Students living outside Hangzhou who have finished their full-time higher education within a year and who are willing to start a business or find a job in the city are eligible, local authorities said.

"The application, which can be submitted online, needs only one working day to process," said Liu Chenglin, an official with a talent development center in Hangzhou's Shangcheng district.

He Baojin, a civil engineering graduate from Henan province, learned about the free accommodation offer and applied after receiving an interview invitation from a company in the district about two weeks ago. It was approved the next day.

"I immediately bought a bullet-train ticket to Hangzhou," He said. "And the room is quite comfortable."

"During job hunting, accommodation is perhaps the biggest cost headache for fresh graduates," He said. "The free service has benefited us a lot."

On social media platforms, many college graduates have shared their experiences with free hotels in Hangzhou.

"I graduated in 2022 and stayed in a free hotel in March after submitting an application online. I received three offers within seven days," one post said. "I have decided to accept one of them and work in Hangzhou."

Across Zhejiang, cities have rolled out similar policies to support college graduates.

In Ningbo, beyond the seven days of free accommodation, other services are offered, such as consultations on employment and entrepreneurship, along with job recommendations. In Wenzhou, job-seeking graduates get a discount of 120 yuan ($17.55) per night for their hotel rooms for up to 10 days, along with travel allowances.

In neighboring Jiangsu province, cities have been offering even longer free stays for college graduates in search of work. For instance, in Nanjing, where 12 sites with a total of 500 free rooms have been set aside, graduates who finished their degrees within the past two years can stay for two weeks.

The benefits are part of the two coastal provinces' ongoing drive to attract young talent.

Besides incentives such as free hotel stays, Zhejiang has also made great efforts to carry out institutional reforms, including further relaxing rules for household registration, or hukou.

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