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I have difficulty understanding the whole sentence (the concept it tries to convey):

"Graduates not finding a job can only be avoided with sound and rather conservative planning of the volume of new hires needed after the vocational training program finishes."

The part after "sound" is confusing me. What is going on there? How does "planning of the volume of new hires needed after the vocational training program finishes help avoid graduates who don't find jobs?

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    What part of it exactly confuses you?
    – M.A.R.
    Mar 26 '17 at 11:53
  • It's a pretty difficult sentence I think! can you explain a little bit about what you're thinking as you're reading it? does "sound and rather conservative planning" not make sense? or is something else?
    – ColleenV
    Mar 26 '17 at 12:05
  • Thanks for your fast response. Yes, it's exactly the part after "sound" that is confusing me. What is going on there? How does "planning of the volume of new hires needed after the vocational training program finishes help avoid graduates who don't find jobs? Mar 26 '17 at 12:45
  • Sound is an adjective in that sentence – does that help?
    – user3395
    Mar 26 '17 at 13:22
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    The implication is that if the planners can accurately estimate how many job offers for graduates there will be when the course ends, they can adjust their intake of students each year so they produce just enough graduates to fill those jobs. If they take in too many students, not all of them will get jobs (but if they take in too few, industry will be unable to hire the people they need). But as I understand it, the big problem here is the unpredictable number of undergraduates who will quit after starting the course (or otherwise fail to graduate), so it's not the whole solution. Mar 26 '17 at 13:47
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Sound here is an adjective and it means competent, reliable, or secure with sufficient financial means.

What the sentence is saying is that with well-laid and conservative planning of how much new employees are needed (planning of the volume of new hires needed), graduated people will avoid unemployment. That could be done by, e.g., balancing out between the number of new vocational trainees accepted this year and the number of employees needed for that industry by the time those trainees graduate.

For further more specified measures, you have to consult with academic sources of labor market economics, I could give you only a simple example like that as I'm here to help with English language and not really Economics 101.

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