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Vocational schools plan courses to suit market demand, end labor shortages

Pub Date:2020-12-09 10:38 Source:China Daily

Vocational training will improve migrant workers' skills and help them find satisfactory jobs, according to experts.

A report released in April by the National Bureau of Statistics showed that more than 70 percent of migrant workers ended their education after junior middle school.

Meanwhile, only 16.6 percent attended high school and just 11.1 percent went to college.

Pang Shi, deputy director of the department of employment, entrepreneurship and policy assessment at the Chinese Academy of Personnel Science, said providing training for migrant workers will help provide stable employment and incomes among the group and reduce the risk of people losing their jobs.

Moreover, training will improve their working ability and boost their long-term competitiveness in the job market.

In June, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security released a plan for migrant workers that set a goal of training more than 14 million by the end of next year.

The ministry said that in the first three quarters of the year it provided training for 5 million workers nationwide, offering skills to urgently remedy labor shortages in a range of sectors and help people who wanted to transfer to other industries.

Zhang Fuling, a migrant worker from Linquan county, Anhui province, is attending a babysitters' training course at a vocational school in her hometown.

"Before coming to the training sessions, I thought I knew how to take care of babies as I am a mother and have the experience of raising a child," she said.

However, soon after the training started, Zhang realized that the job of a babysitter is professional and complicated, requiring a lot of knowledge, technique and practice.

"For example, when my daughter was an infant and I gave her a bath, I washed her casually without much care, attention or technique. Now, thanks to the training, I know that I need to cover the baby's ears to prevent water from entering," she said.

Yao Xiuping, vice-principal of the vocational school Zhang attends, said market demand was fully considered when the courses were designed so the workers would be able to find jobs quickly and secure competitive incomes.

People trained to care for babies or seniors are in short supply and they can earn relatively high salaries, she said.

"Babysitters trained by our school can earn as much as 15,000 yuan ($2,300) a month in large cities like Beijing and Shanghai. Even in cities near Linquan, a babysitter's monthly income can reach 8,000 yuan," Yao said.

She added that even if only one adult in an impoverished family has a job, their income will ensure the family doesn't fall into poverty.

"Climbing out of poverty starts with having a job, and finding a job starts with vocational training," she said.

Li Guoxiang, a researcher with the Rural Development Institute at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the key to allowing vocational training to play a role is to open courses that meet market demand.

As migrant workers landed better jobs and higher incomes after the training sessions, more people in the group would realize the importance of training and follow their example, he said.


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