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China wins 15 golds, 3 silvers at WorldSkills Competition

By CHENG SI | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-10-29 07:52
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Chinese team medalists pose for a photo after competitions ended in Helsinki, Finland, on Monday, during the ongoing WorldSkills Competition 2022 Special Edition. The Chinese team won two golds, one silver and a Medallion for Excellence at the Helsinki event. [Photo/Xinhua]

Vocational training system for skilled workers will be improved, says report

Competitors from China continue to demonstrate impressive skills, capabilities and winning performances at the ongoing WorldSkills Competition 2022 Special Edition being held around the world, while China's central government has continued to plan and introduce supportive policies for vocational students and skilled workers to help realize career advancement.

Recognized as the Olympic Games for skills competition, the special edition is a replacement for the canceled WorldSkills Shanghai 2022, with the updated event scheduled to hold 62 events in 15 countries and regions from September to November.

As of Thursday, the Chinese team had won 15 golds and three silvers in the already-completed 27 events, including cabinetmaking and 3D digital gaming art.

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, delivered a report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China on Oct 16. The report said that the nation will improve its lifelong vocational training system to help tackle structural imbalances in employment.

According to the report, China will strengthen connections between vocational, higher and continuing education and channel more resources to cultivate craftsmen and highly skilled workers.

Hou Kunpeng, gold medalist in the mobile robotics event at the special edition, told China Central Television that he felt very happy to win top honors in his field, and was inspired by the report to the 20th CPC National Congress that put attention on the cultivation of skilled workers.

"I will pass down the knowledge I've learned from the competition and make my own contribution to China's skilled worker cultivation,"Hou said.

In the past few decades, the central authorities have continued to improve the vocational education and evaluation system for skilled workers, while increasingly channeling more resources to the establishment of a lifelong vocational training system from 2018 as skilled workers have grown to be one of the main thrusts behind China's manufacturing and innovation development.

Chen Lixiang, vice-chairman of the Chinese Society for Technical and Vocational Education, said there are still many ways to improve the lifelong vocational skills training system.

"The system should not only include vocational students but also workers after they graduate. We haven't built up a skills training system open to the entire working population. The technologies develop at a rapid pace, which requires workers to update their knowledge and skills," Chen said.

He added that manufacturing is the cornerstone of the nation's real economy while it faces shortages and structural imbalances in labor pools.

"It's sometimes hard for companies to hire skilled workers. In addition to labor force shortages, workers' skills may not be adaptable to vacancies on hand. It's hard to meet the market needs in short order when we only adjust majors or courses at vocational schools, as it takes time to produce mature skilled workers. Thus we need the lifelong vocational skills training system to help improve workers' skills as industry gets updated, which can also help reduce unemployment."

Chen said that the emergence of new professions — agricultural managers, for example, who are responsible for production, technical support and sales at agricultural cooperatives, and development of modern agriculture in the process of rural vitalization — also requires workers involved to get lifelong skills training.

"Skilled workers' social status and incomes will increase. It's a progressive course and will take a rather long time, and such growth is in accordance with the nation's economic development," he said.

Liu Xiaohong, China's team leader of technical experts taking part in the cabinetmaking event at the special edition, said that she has felt the great changes vocational education has brought about over the past four years thanks to the nation's supportive policies and introduction of world-class skills competitions.

"Though we still have gaps with some developed countries as to skilled workers' cultivation, we've made progress step by step. I believe more families and individuals can get to know that learning skills can also earn them a good living as the nation pays more attention to producing skilled workers," Liu said.

Earlier this month, the State Council, China's Cabinet, released a guideline on producing highly skilled workers. It emphasized the importance of producing more senior skilled workers and those highly skilled to enhance the nation's core competitiveness and innovation capability, which can also help relieve structural imbalances in employment and push forward the nation's high-quality development.

According to the guideline, the nation will build up a more sound and improved system for highly skilled worker cultivation with their population, social status, quality and incomes all to rise by the end of 2025.

Skilled workers are projected to make up 30 percent or more of the nation's total working population by 2025, and those highly skilled will be roughly one-third of all skilled workers. Under the guideline, skilled workers will have their numbers, quality and structure adapted to the nation's modernization by 2035.

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