Updated : 2015-03-20
Beijing's Economic-Technological Development Area, or E-town, sent a delegate to the recently concluded Third Session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC) in Beijing, where he pointed to the need to improve vocational education in China and train more skilled workers, and submitted a proposal for improving workers' health care.
And, Zhao Yu was not alone in bringing up this subject because he was joined by another 200 NPC delegates who have similar ideas on the much-needed legislation for vocational skill development. In explaining his views to the gathering, Zhao said, "When the Electric Power Research Institute and Beijing Benz wanted to hire 30 students for a training course, this year, only 28 people applied, whereas back in 2005, there were more than 1,200. Now, this is a serious problem because it means we'll have few skilled workers."
Zhao has been following vocational education for some time and has been backing his argument with statistics on worker shortages and the impact on the real economy at each NPC session for the last three years, although several of his proposals on better vocational education have attracted the attention of other delegates as well as the NPC and the State Council.
So, last August, NPC officials visited the assembly lines at Beijing Benz, in Beijing's E-town, and asked for suggestions on how to improve vocational education laws or regulations. Then, this past February, Wang Xiaochu, former deputy head of the Human Resources and Social Security Ministry, visited Beijing Benz to discuss ways to improve skills training and praised Zhao for his efforts in personnel training.
Zhao said that the government is placing more importance on these matters, for example, President Xi Jinping, who called for more vocational education, in June 2014, and, in this year's government report, Premier Li Keqiang, who said that we need to build China into a powerful manufacturing nation.
However, Zhao concluded, there's still a long way to go, but he'll do everything he can to help reform and development of vocational education.