Guangdong enhances vocational training to stabilize employment
“I was very lucky to have attended vocational school so I could get the opportunity to participate in the World Skills Competition,” said Chen Jiarong after winning a gold medal in the category of Product Display Skills at China’s First Vocational Skills Competition held in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province, in December 2020.
As the host province of the competition, Guangdong harvested the most gold medals and ranked first in total medal count and total scores. The competition also awarded winners with opportunities to gain employment at leading Chinese companies.
As the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic cast a shadow over economic growth, the provincial government of Guangdong rolled out a slew of measures to guarantee employment which achieved remarkable results. Statistics show that in 2020, a total of 1,337,000 new jobs were created, and the surveyed urban unemployment rate in the fourth quarter of 2020 dropped back to 4.9 percent, indicating that economic and social development has been stabilized. Furthermore, a total of 508,000 poor laborers in rural Guangdong acquired employment as part of significant progress in targeted poverty alleviation.
The Guangdong government rolled out preferential policies to ensure employment stability and maintain security of market operation. It approved a subsidy of nearly 3.9 billion yuan (US$0.6 billion) for 40,000 companies to encourage in work-based training, which helped the enterprises attract the return of 276,000 migrant workers from other provinces. To facilitate employment among key groups including college graduates and poor laborers, the Guangdong government expanded employment in the public sector, which helped raise the employment rate of 2020 graduates to 90 percent, and sought to create more public service jobs for registered poor laborers from other provinces.
Various competition events and vocational training programs are also helping facilitate employment in Guangdong Province. The “Community Entrepreneurs Cup” Guangdong Entrepreneurship and Innovation Competition provides an entrepreneurial platform for young people in Hong Kong and Macau. The big event attracted 86,000 participating projects, and over 60 percent of award-winning projects were implemented in Guangdong.
In the recent two years, the provincial government of Guangdong has implemented “Cantonese Cuisine Cooks,” “Guangdong Technicians,” and “Guangdong Household Service” programs to improve workers’ vocational skills. At present, Guangdong has set up five national-level “Cantonese Cuisine Cooks” workshops, established 10 high-level technician schools, and developed 16 evaluation standards for housekeeping services. Together, the three programs have trained around 3.49 million, of whom 1.24 million have secured jobs through the “Cantonese Cuisine Cooks” and “Guangdong Household Service” programs. Guangdong now has China’s largest technical education system, which is consistently producing impressive outcomes.