Li tells State Council program will improve competence of workforce
China will move forward with a lifelong professional skills training system as part of its efforts to improve the competence of the nation's workforce and boost high-quality development, those at a State Council executive meeting presided over by Premier Li Keqiang decided on Wednesday.
With the goal of promoting employment and entrepreneurship, the training system will be established and supported to provide accessible skills training to all the workers in urban and rural areas during the entire course of their careers, those at the meeting decided.
The training system, which also aims to instill craftsmanship and quality awareness, will help ease the structural shortage of skilled workers, improve factory productivity and move the economy toward the medium-high end of the global value chain.
"Lifelong professional skills training is a pressing task in the process of achieving economic transformation and upgrading and high-quality development," Li said.
"While the demographic dividend was leveraged during the earlier stages of development, it is a more-skilled and high-quality workforce that is crucial to high-quality development going forward." Li said.
Central government departments have carried out an array of action plans since November 2012, offering government-subsidized training to 114 million workers, which contributed significantly to employment and entrepreneurship.
According to the decision at the meeting, to achieve industrial upgrading, enterprises will be encouraged to play the principal role of sharpening workers' skills. Enterprises will be encouraged to conduct professional skill training on a large scale through measures including government-subsidized training, training sessions organized by enterprises themselves and commercial courses.
A new type of apprentice system will be pushed forward to provide skills training for newly recruited and re-employed workers. The development of highly skilled workers will be prioritized, with the training of senior technicians set to be reinforced. The ministries of finance and human resources and social security are being required to do research in support of enterprises so they can conduct skills training and speed up measures to develop skilled workers with high professional qualifications.
More training sessions on employment and entrepreneurship will be made available to college graduates and young migrant workers. Professional skills training will be better incorporated with certificate programs.
"We must give full play to the role of enterprises as the main players in lifelong professional skills training and lose no time in addressing the mismatch between employment pressure and scarcity of workers, especially highly skilled workers" Li said.
The decision from the meeting says talent evaluation and skills assessment mechanisms will be refined, with professional capabilities as the criteria. Income distribution methods for technical workers will be formulated with a focus on their skills and achievements in innovation to encourage skills-based wealth creation and income increases. An investment process contributed by the government, businesses and society will be established to provide more financial support for professional skills training.
Privately run professional skills training will be boosted and government-subsidized programs will be open to eligible vocational colleges and training institutions. Enterprises will be encouraged to set up professional training institutions.
Oversight of training quality will be reinforced and management of public services in a catalog list of programs will be introduced for professional skills training. And the performance evaluation system will be improved.
"Professional skills training must focus on the weaknesses in China's industry upgrades. Costs must be reduced and institutional incentives put in place for skills training by enterprises themselves to produce highly skilled professionals," Li said.
"Skilled workers should be duly remunerated and held in high esteem by the general public," he said.