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Expanding Training Opportunities for Migrant Workers Highlighted at NPC Session
   2016-03-12 19:43:54    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Huang Yue

An undated photo shows workers getting training. Expanding training opportunities for migrant workers has been a hot topic among legislators at the ongoing parliamentary session. [Photo: jzrb.com]

At the same time, how to support the employment of migrant workers has also been a hot topic among legislators at the ongoing parliamentary session.


Xie Liying, an NPC deputy and a worker who has been employed in a ceramics factory for over 24 years, says training opportunities are vital for migrant workers.

"Most migrant workers come from rural and poor areas; they have inferior education levels. Vocational training is necessary for them to obtain new skills, so they can get higher paid jobs and enrich their lives."

Xie says she submitted a proposal about strengthening vocational training for migrant workers last year.

"Many of my friends are migrant workers. They work in adverse environments for little payment. Some of them can't support themselves. They need training. On the other side, enterprises have their own difficulties. They need to pay a large amount money to hire trainers. They need support from the government."

Official statistics show there were more than 277 million migrant workers in 2015, an increase of over 3.5 million year on year.

Because of limited education, some could only find physical jobs at construction sites.

A job seeker who wishes to keep his name anonymous says he has been searching for a job since the middle of February, but hasn't had any luck because he doesn't have the skills or training that employers want.

"I'm 54 years old. With no skills and a relatively high age, I could only find jobs like cleaner or handyman. I used to work at a construction site. But this year, job offers on the site are reducing. Finding a job has become very difficult."

Providing more vocational training to migrant workers has already been listed as a policy priority by the central government.

In delivering his work report, Premier Li Keqiang announced that in 2016, over 21 million training opportunities will be provided for migrant workers to improve their skills and the number of training opportunities will increase to 40 million by 2020.

At the same time, the government will also allocate funds to vocational colleges, improving conditions in secondary vocational schools, and promoting the integration of vocational education with industry work.

Furthermore, in order to reduce the burden of migrant workers' families, Education Minister Yuan Guiren has said that the tuition for secondary vocational college will be totally waived by 2020.

"About 92 percent of secondary vocational school students pay no tuition. We are not far away from a totally free secondary vocational education."

Associated Professor Huang Zhining is the former vice president from Guangzhou City Polytechnic, a vocational college in Guangdong province.

She says that these measures are very useful for migrant workers.

"Free secondary vocational education is a very good news for migrant workers. In my opinion, in the next step, the government should do more on encourage businesses to join in the vocational education so that the education can be connected with future recruitment."

As for whether it is necessary to open more vocational colleges, Professor Huang says existing colleges are enough to serve the need of the migrant workers.

"We need to encourage more good workers from enterprises to teach at vocational colleges and at the same time, let more teachers do practical work at companies. In this way, students could keep in touch with the latest practical technologies. It would help them become more competitive in the labor market."

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