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Beiwu follow-up 8: one way to become an urban resident

July 20, 2012

konjaku: this positive assessment of the employment situation was written shortly after Beiwu Jiayuan was finished and the villagers moved into their new housing. As we have seen, a major issue for the villagers is whether they will be allowed to become urban residents or not (change their household registry to city resident). In this article, it seems that those villagers who get jobs are allowed to become eligible for some privileges available to urban residents. Instead of giving urban residency to the villagers , the government may be parcelling out parts of it, in an incentive system. The villagers’ perspective:’You’ve taken away our land and source of income. At least make us urban residents, so we can get better health benefits and social security.’ The government’s perspective: ‘Show us you can behave like urban residents first, and get jobs.If you get a job, we’ll give you social security.’

Beiwu village peasants say farewell to the “tile income” , 80% get jobs

Qianlong net 2010-09-06

During the one year in which the rural urban unification reform pilot project has been in operation, 30 hectares of land has undergone an amazing transformation,  from patches of low and disorderly housing compounds, to a residential garden project. 81 percent of the peasants have found employment, and no longer need to rely renting rooms out to migrant workers, relying on the “tile income.” At this point Beiwu village has reached the standard for full employment.

Beiwu village is one of 8 natural villages under the jurisdiction of Sijiqing town Yuquan administrative village. There are 1427 people registered as farmers, and 806 as laborers. Although they are called farmers, starting twenty years ago, traditional agricultural production was already disappearing. Before the pilot project was launched, the village was a disorderly collection of low slung housing compounds. Ads posted for rooms for rent were visible everywhere. Many of the villagers were content to stay at home and rely on the income from rentals, instead of going out and looking for work. The villagers culture level was low, and they were reluctant to look for jobs in newly emerging industries. In addition, the local economy did not have sufficient openings. Only 423 persons in the village had entered the labor force, in all 52 percent.

Along with the demolition of the village and relocation of the villagers, a coordinated effort was made accelerate the process of finding jobs. At the end of last year, under the guidance of the Haidian District office, an employment service center was opened in Beiwu village, with three employees, responsible for giving the villagers vocational counseling.

26 year old Shi Zhen several years ago got a temporary job with an electronics company, but because the work was hard and his treatment poor, he soon returned home. He rented out a room he built himself, and lived off the income, although it was not terribly much. But he didn’t have to work hard, and didn’t have to follow a schedule. After the village was demolished, Shi Zhen’s sole source of income disappeared, and he was quite worried. Three times he went to the employment fair at the service center, but ended up with nothing.  The reason was “the salary was low, 1000 yuan a month or a little more, so I didn’t want to.”

When he found out Shi Zhen’s view, the employment counsellor helped him to  squarely face his situation. After all, his educational level was not high, he had no specialized technical skills. He went over the employment possibilities for Shi Zhen in meticulous detail, reading him chapter and verse. After listening to him, Shi Zhen suddenly realized, “If I get a job, I will be able to enjoy the same privileges as urban residents, and will be eligible for social security. That is a strong point to consider –the wages are just one aspect of it.”

Not long after that, Shi Zhen succeeded in getting a job recommended by the employment service center, at an auto sales and service dealership. He was able to give free rein to his desire to drive cars, helping customers by moving cars or delivering them. “This job really fits me. And it is not far from home.” He was very satisfied.

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