Opportunities for UK graduates in China

Posted in: Labour Market Intelligence, Sector Insight

Yesterday, George Osborne announced a feasibility study to link the London Stock Exchange with the Shanghai Stock Exchange, this initiative would enable Chinese and British shares to be traded in both countries. This announcement comes off the back of a £2bn deal under which China will invest in the Hinkley Point nuclear power station. In recent years, a number of recruiters have created graduate schemes which harness the skills and experiences of UK educated Chinese students but is there scope for UK nationals to start their graduate careers in China?

During the economic downturn, many graduates chose to move abroad to start their graduate careers, statistics show that between 2008 and 2011, there was a 27% rise in the number of British students moving overseas. Whilst China produced over 7.27 million graduates in 2014, according to McKinsey employers in China are reporting skills shortages in particular lack of technical training, inadequate English, and soft skills, such as the ability to work in teams, critical thinking, and innovative flair.

Major industries in China include: mining, textiles, chemicals, consumer products, telecommunications equipment, satellites, metals, machine building, food processing and transportation. According to TargetJobs, UK graduates with skills in manufacturing, engineering, medical or environmental technology, IT, production and tourism are in high demand.

So, if all this has drawn your attention east-wards, here are our top tips on starting your graduate career in China:

  1. Language skills: having some knowledge of Mandarin will help with job hunting but also help you understand the culture in China. The Language Center at Bath offers a number of courses which you can take alongside your studies.
  2. Join Clubs & Societies: the University is a really diverse place welcoming students from all over the world including China. Consider becoming a member of the ChinaRen society and learn about the Chinese culture whilst growing your network.
  3. Gain experience: consider doing a summer internship in China, organisations such as CCRC Asia can help with finding opportunities and there is funding available through the British Council and other partners.
  4. Harness contacts: jobs in China are filled via personal referrals, connect with Bath Alumni in China to support your job hunting.
  5. Speculative Applications: the British Chamber of Commerce in China has details of member businesses that are active in the UK and China.

For more information look at the excellent guide to working in China produced by TargetJobs. 

Posted in: Labour Market Intelligence, Sector Insight


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