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[Job hunting] Most students willing to work for free
Latest Updated by 2006-08-14 11:40:48

While a large majority of university students are willing to work for free at a good company to gain experience and hopefully earn a paid position in the future, most companies said they aren't interested in unpaid workers, noting the practice is against the law, according to a recent survey.

Zhaopin.com, one of China's leading Web-based headhunters, surveyed 5,296 university students and 106 companies via the Internet about their attitude towards the emerging phenomenon of working for free.

While the city government said the employment rate for college and university students last year stood at an impressive 96 percent - including those who took full-time, part-time and freelance work - human resource managers started reporting earlier this year that a growing number of students were approaching at job fairs and offering to work for free for several months to get their foot in the door. Labor authorities say the practice is illegal and the students leave themselves open to abuse.

The survey indicated that nearly 70 percent of university students are willing to work for free at a good company if they don't find a suitable job before graduation.

"The job competition is so fierce nowadays, I could at least earn some work experience even if I don't get a full job offer," said Zhang Yu, a fourth-year student at a local university.

Of the students willing to take an unpaid position, 80 percent said they felt it would be a good way to gain experience while looking for another opportunity. The majority of employers said they won't accept unpaid workers, although 44 percent said they were willing to consider the illegal practice.

Editor: Wing

By: Source:Shanghai Daily web edition
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