China's Unemployed Millions Of Graduates
- By Professor Prabhu Guptara
- Published 12/9/2010
Professor Prabhu Guptara
Professor Prabhu Guptara is Executive Director, Organisational Development, Wolfsberg (a subsidiary of UBS - one of the largest banks in the world). He is also Freeman of the City of London and of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists, and Chartered Fellow of the of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development; he is also Fellow: of the Institute of Directors, of the Royal Commonwealth Society, and of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts Commerce and Manufactures; and he continues to supervise PhD research at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) as well as to be Visiting Professor at various Universities and Business Schools around the world.
Earlier roles include: a Governor of the Polytechnic of Central London, Member of the Council of the British Institute of Management, of the International Federation of Training & Development Organisations (IFTDO), of the Association for Management Education and Development (UK), of the South East Regional Council of the Confederation of British Industry.
Judge, 1988 National Training Awards, 1980 Commonwealth Poetry Prize, 1990 & 1991 Deo Gloria Prize for Fiction; Chair of the Panel of Judges, Deo Gloria Prize 1992 & 1993.
Experience with an enormous range of organisations including: Akzo Nobel (Netherlands), the Associated Banks Institute (Germany), Barclays Bank (UK), British Petroleum (UK), the Council of Europe, Cultor (Finland), Deutsche Bank (Germany), Groupe Bull (France), Federation of Finnish Engineers (Finland), the International Management Association of Japan, Kemira (Finland), Kraft Jakob Suchard (Switzerland), Leadership Academy (Finland), Nokia Telecommunications (Finland), Novo Nordisk (Denmark), Sedgwick International Insurance and Reinsurance Brokers (UK), Singapore Institute of Management, Sonatrach (Algeria), Sun Alliance (UK), UNCTAD, Valeo (France), and so on.
Organiser, chair and lecturer by invitation for numerous international conferences, he has contributed widely to radio and television in the UK and other countries (The Money Program, Any Questions) and has written for Financial Times (London, UK), The Guardian, The Times and other publications; articles, for example, in The Gower Handbook of Management, The Gower Handbook of Quality, and the International Encyclopedia of Business & Management (Routledge).
A CD-ROM has been issued of his lecture at the Professorenforum, University of Zurich, titled "Making the World Better - Why it does NOT happen...and what TO DO about it"
Further information available from email@example.com
His best-known research publication is "Top Executives in the Global 100 Companies and their IT-Competence" (ADVANCE: Management Training Ltd., UK, and Wolfsberg Executive Development Centre, Switzerland, 1998); and he is included in Debrett's People of Today and in Who's Who in the World. Professor Prabhu Guptara lives in Switzerland.
According to a report in Bloomberg Businessweek, more than one-quarter of this year's 6.3 million college graduates in China are unemployed, despite shortages of workers in manufacturing.
Why? Becasue the number of college graduates in China has tripled since 1998 and the Chinese economy simply isn't creating that number of jobs.
This is the problem with a state-controlled economy (as China's still is).
Reminds me of my time as an undergrad, when many of us worried about what the point of studying was when there were so many unemployed graduates in our country. If I recollect aright, in my first year, newspapers reported 60,000 unemployed doctors. In my second year, they reported 70,000 unemployed engineers. The situation for arts graduates was so bad that no one was even keeping track!
However, India was able basically to sort out that problem of over-supply by liberalising its economy (that is, loosening state control - and, in India, the economy was always less controlled than China's) as well as by encouraging entrepreneurialism (even though we still have a less-than-ideal environment for entrepreneurialism).
Three lessons for China, then:
1. There is a good basis for hope that these unemployed graduates can find gainful activity.
2. Liberalise the economy properly - stop privileging outfits of the People's Liberation Army and so-called private commpanies which are actually controlled by members of the Communist Party - grant them economic privileges only equal to those for non-members as well as for opponents of the Party.
3. Ensure that every undergrad learns entrepreneurial skills - though that will by itself produce nothing if there is not the ecosystem for encouraging entrepreneurialism (and we know all about that from the studies that have been done, for example of Silicon Valley - the ingredients consist of the right legislative environment and the availability of seed funding as well as mezzanine and further funding on a market basis, not a political basis).