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China boosts vocational training to ease employment mismatch

CCTV.com (online), 13 Aug 2014 - We’ve been hearing about "the toughest job market" for a couple years now, and this year is no exception. The mismatch between college graduates and companies needing skilled workers is being eased through vocational training.

Li Zhipeng enrolled as an electrical automation technology major at the Shanghai Institute of Technology in 2010. Unlike students at traditional universities who might spend every day in classrooms or libraries, Li spent most of his days in the laboratory.

He found his first job as an electronics engineer before graduating in 2013, and he says few of his classmates had trouble finding a job.

"I started setting up my own company at the end of my last year in college. Back then, I had two or three projects in hand, and my other classmates also had a couple. So we decided to work together and registered a company." Li Zhipeng, a university graduate, said.

But not every graduate is as lucky as Li Zhipeng, as this year is going to be the toughest job market ever for China’s university graduates.

"It will be just as difficult for graduates to find a job this year, as it was for 6.99 million who graduated last year. But this year, the GDP growth rate is slowing even further, and that will make it even harder for university graduates to find jobs." Feng Lijuan, Chief HR expert from 51job.com, Said.

In a February State Council meeting, Premier Li Keqiang laid out his thoughts on what he called the "modern development of vocational education". Following Li’s speech a senior official in the Education Ministry, Lu Xin, announced the ministry will be introducing an alternative college entrance examination based on technical skills alongside the current academic-oriented exams. Lu also announced the ministry will be changing 600 of China’s colleges into vocational schools.

"Previously, vocational education was divided into primary, middle and senior levels, so we had secondary technical schools, junior colleges, and that’s it. But modern vocational education offers an open upwards path. That is to say, above the secondary technical schools and junior colleges,there will be higher degrees, like applied undergraduate, engineering postgraduate, or even doctoral degrees." Ye Yinzhong, Vice President of Shanghai Institute of Technology, said.

Some say, promoting vocational education is good, but it will face substantial obstacles. As in terms of the way society looks at these things, vocational education is not something of great value. Therefore, some suggest in order to attract more applicants, and enhance the development of vocational education, some schools may have to consider reducing their tuition fees and offering more scholarships and tuition aid.

Source: http://english.cntv.cn/2014/08/13/VIDE1407860159336234.shtml

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