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Graduates take part-time option

[ 2009-03-04 14:17]     字号 [] [] []  
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Zhao Bin, a 22-year-old industrial design major, has given up hopes of landing a permanent job in the country's financial hub. The lack of openings in the wake of the global meltdown has frustrated him.

Instead, Zhao is now occupying his time designing the logo for a shoe-manufacturing company in Ningbo, Zhejiang province.

Though the job is part-time, and the money is nothing worth writing home about, the Shanghai resident said it was still better than sitting idle.

"Due to the lack of jobs in the market, I have had no luck finding full-time work," he said. "A part-time job is just about what I can lay my hands on at the moment, and it gets me through the day, making use of my skill and college education."

Like Zhao, there are a number of fresh university graduates in Shanghai, who, unable to find stable employment, have turned to part-time and low-paying jobs to utilize their time and make ends meet.

And a huge number of them are logging on to Witkey, or Weike in Chinese, websites, where Internet users post advertisements for "tasks" not jobs.

"People and companies on Witkey sites are looking for help, for which they are ready to pay a suitable amount to anyone who can do the task at hand," said Xiao Qin, an English major, who has landed a part-time interpreter's task through one of the Witkey websites.

"Most of the tasks are related to design, such as logos, copywriting for advertisements and documents, and translation," Xiao said.

A Jiangsu province-based businessman is offering 800 yuan for designing his company's logo, as posted on Zhubajie.com, a popular Witkey site.

His requirements for the task are: "Logo must be interesting, but not too strange" and "applicants must submit the design before March 31".

Posted last Friday, his ad has caught the attention of more than 3,000 people, with nearly 200 of them already offering him solutions.

According to the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, 7.1 million college graduates will enter the job market this year, including 1 million who failed to secure employment last year.

"Even here (on the websites) competition is fierce, as you have no idea how many people apply for a task," said an Internet user, who declined to be named.

Zhubajie.com has more than 1 million registered users. Reportedly, 2,000 new users are registering every day.

As of now, the country has more than 60 such Witkey sites, with an estimated 9 million users, earlier reports said.

"The tasks require ideas and intelligence, which is generally unduplicated and unique," Liu Zheng, a senior manager of the Beijing-based SDR Consulting Company, said.


1. What do Witkey or Weike websites advertise?

2. How many college graduates will enter the job market this year?

3. Why does one Internet user say competition is fierce on Witkey sites?


1. Tasks for people to do for a suitable amount of money.

2. 7.1 million.

3. Because you don’t know how many people applied for the task.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Graduates take part-time option

About the broadcaster:

Graduates take part-time optionBernice Chan is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Bernice has written for newspapers and magazines in Hong Kong and most recently worked as a broadcaster for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, producing current affairs shows and documentaries.