With a final flourish, Dr Wang Waihong dishes out glistening choy sum, or Chinese flowering cabbage, and receives an enthusiastic round of applause from her classmates.
Made redundant from her job at a local hospital in China’s southern province of Guangdong, she has enrolled in cookery classes at a vocational training centre to forge a new career.
Rooms of would-be hairdressers can be found next to flower-arranging classes and workshops for people learning about e-commerce. China’s economic reforms and rapid growth have made millionaires of some. But for many others, especially those working in often inefficient state-owned enterprises, the opening up of the economy to greater competition has cost them their jobs. [Full Text]