Business / Policy Watch

Vocational education push gets approval

By Sun Xiaochen and Zhao Xinying (China Daily) Updated: 2014-02-27 07:18

Central government's move praised, seen to boost prospects for grads

The central government approved measures on Wednesday to push the development of modern vocational education, which experts hailed as a significant move to boost employment.

To promote employment prospects for youth, the central government called for more attention, investment and policy support to push for development and modernization of vocational education, according to the State Council's executive meeting presided over by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday.

Implementing the reform of vocational and technical education, which adapts to social development and labor market demands, is crucial for improving the employability of graduate students while upgrading the manufacturing and service sectors, according to a statement released after the meeting.

The statement also emphasized that local governments and authorities should lure more private investors and social entities to join in establishing higher and secondary vocational schools with favorable policies to "open more career opportunities for the youth".

To better meet the labor market's demands, vocational schools should optimize their curriculum and training programs based on the skill requirements and work procedures of industry, the statement said. The opportunities for vocational students with technical certificates to obtain bachelor's and master's degrees at normal universities also should be increased, it said.

Vocational education push gets approval

Yang Genlai, deputy director of the Ministry of Civil Affairs' vocational skill assessment and guidance center, said establishing a national system in which students' vocational certificates could be converted into academic credits at normal universities would attract more students to vocational schools.

"We have tried to run similar systems in some regions, but none of them worked well due to the lack of a unified standard," Yang told China Daily on Wednesday. "The central government's call will bring hopes for better implementation, and students with both vocational certificates and academic degrees will be hot property on the job market."

China has more than 1,300 registered higher vocational schools, which had more than 6 million graduates last year, almost the same number as university graduates in 2013, according to the center that Yang works with.

Boasting solid skills for manufacturing and service industries, graduates from vocational schools enjoy great job prospects.

Zhang Juncheng, vice-principal of Chaoyue Vocational School, Changzhi, Shanxi province, said 90 percent of the school's graduates could find jobs and did well at work.

"In our school, teaching is closely combined with students' practical needs in their future work, so that they can quickly adapt to the working environment," he said.

A regulation on the personnel management of publicly funded organizations, such as public hospitals and schools, was also adopted at Wednesday's meeting.

Better human resources management in publicly funded organizations that provide services to the people is crucial to the ongoing reform of such organizations, according to a statement released after the meeting.

The regulation adopted on Wednesday includes stipulations on key sections of personnel management, such as the setting up of positions, open recruitment, employment contracts and dispute settlement, the statement said. No details were given.

As of August 2012, there were more than 1.1 million publicly funded organizations in China, employing more than 30 million people, according to the State Commission Office for Public Sector Reform.

A reform of such organizations is going on to rectify some tangled relations between the government and publicly funded organizations; speed up the formation of their corporate-governance structures; improve public services; and gradually abolish administrative ranks.

Contact the writer at

He Dan contributed to this story.

 Vocational education push gets approval

Students learn how to make assorted cold dishes at a training school for aspiring chefs in Fuyang, Anhui province. The State Council vowed to boost the development of vocational training to meet the country's need for workers. Wang Biao / for China Daily

(China Daily 02/27/2014 page3)

Hot Topics

Editor's Picks