Various organizations in Beijing have been taking active steps to help solve a regular shortage of housemaids in the Chinese national capital at the turn of the year.
Li Dajing, deputy head of the Beijing Municipal Home Economics Association, said that she personally led a delegation to southwest China's Sichuan Province on December 9, and signed cooperation agreements in Chengdu, the provincial capital, with 26 localities for importing domestic helpers.
The first group of 500 domestic helpers will soon arrive in the national capital, said Li.
According to Li, some 200,000 households in the eight downtown areas of Beijing have hired domestic helpers, most of whom are from rural regions.
However, whenever the Spring Festival, the New Year's Day by the traditional Chinese calendar, arrives, half of the domestic helpers will go home to visit their relatives, making it quite inconvenient for the urban employers.
In 2004, the Spring Festival, one of the most important occasion for reunions of family members, relatives and friends to people of Chinese origin, falls on January 22.
More than 30 home economic service companies have even resorted to opening special phone services to attract urban laid-off people, who will be given new jobs after having received professional re- employment guidance given by relevant organizations.
It is estimated that 223,000 households will hire full-time domestic helpers, and another 225,000 homes will employ part-time housemaids in the Chinese national capital next year, said Li, adding that families in Beijing would hire 38,000 people as domestic helpers from Sichuan Province alone in 2004.
(Xinhua News Agency December 14, 2003)