By Li Xinping, People’s Daily
China’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS) has lately issued guidelines to initiate a campaign for training skilled workers.
According to the guidelines, the country plans to increase the number of skilled labor by over 40 million by the end of 2025, and will ensure its proportion in the country’s total employed population rises to 30 percent by then.
Besides, the country intends to bring the proportion of highly skilled personnel in skilled workers to 35 percent in its eastern provinces, and lift that in the central and western regions by two to three percentage points by 2025.
Highly skilled workers can turn research findings and designs into actual products, contribute to scientific and technological innovation and breakthroughs and undertake many other important tasks, noted Chen Lixiang, deputy head of the Chinese Society for Technical and Vocational Education.
China’s technological advances in equipment manufacturing in recent years couldn’t have been achieved without the wisdom of high-caliber innovation teams made up of personnel including skilled workers, Chen said.
As of the end of last year, the number of skilled workers in China exceeded 200 million, among whom nearly 30 percent, or about 58 million, were highly skilled. However, there remains a prominent scarcity of skilled labor in the country, with the number of vacancies for highly skilled workers being over twice that of job seekers.
Research conducted by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and Ministry of Education shows ten major fields of manufacturing will suffer from a shortage of nearly 30 million skilled workers by 2025, Chen warned.
To ensure that the goals and tasks set out in the guidelines will be achieved, the document specified 20 measures related to endeavors including perfecting relevant systems and policies, advancing vocational education, involving companies in skills training, and enhancing international cooperation in the aspect, which cover the cultivation, employment and evaluation of and incentives for skilled workers.
In order to push ahead with high-quality vocational training, 155 prefecture-level cities in 31 provincial-level regions and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps in China have offered electronic coupons for training courses this year, allowing impoverished laborers, the unemployed, college graduates and staff members in companies to improve their professional skills with the electronic coupons received through their social security accounts.
Data suggest that nearly 1.76 million electronic coupons had been issued and 84,300 of them had been used by mid-April.
The guidelines stressed continuously implementing a new type of apprenticeship system with Chinese characteristics for companies. On the basis of the traditional one, the new type of apprenticeship system highlights vocational training jointly carried out by training institutions and companies, policy support and government subsidies, Chen pointed out.