SCIO press conference on employment, social security

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Shou Xiaoli:

Due to the time limit, we will have one last question. 

Hong Kong Bauhinia Magazine:

Enhancing vocational training and cultivating more skilled workers are essential to easing recruitment and employment difficulties. What measures will the MOHRSS take in this regard? Thank you. 

Wang Xiaoping:

This is a good question. Improving vocational skills is the key solution for addressing the dual problems of enterprises' difficulty in recruitment and workers' difficulty in finding employment. This also serves multiple purposes, as improving workers' vocational skills is conducive to promoting the transition from a demographic dividend into a human resources dividend. It also empowers more ordinary workers to join the middle-income group through hard work. 

The report to the 20th CPC National Congress emphasized improving the system of lifelong vocational training and tackling structural unemployment . Last year, the General Office of the CPC Central Committee and the General Office of the State Council issued guidelines on strengthening the cultivation of highly-skilled workers, which we will earnestly implement. To enhance vocational training, we will stabilize the scale, take care of the whole process, focus on key areas, improve the system, boost effectiveness, and roll out incentivizing measures.

As for stabilizing the scale, we will continue to organize large-scale vocational training. The three-year campaign for upgrading vocational skills has provided more than 83 million subsidized training opportunities. During the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025), we will offer more than 75 million government-subsidized training opportunities for all urban and rural workers. 

As part of taking care of the whole process, we will launch extensive multi-tiered vocational training for workers across stages from study to work. We will organize pre-employment training for new entrants to the workforce, on-the-job training for enterprise employees, and training for the unemployed to help them find new jobs. In this way, we will improve workers' ability to apply for and choose a job, stabilize their employment, and secure their reemployment. 

To focus on key areas, we will boost China's strength in manufacturing, product quality, cyberspace, and digital development . We will intensify the cultivation of skilled workers in key areas. We will thoroughly carry out programs to strengthen skills in the manufacturing sector and expand the workforce of skilled personnel. We will concentrate on key groups, including college graduates, rural migrant workers, and people who have difficulty finding employment, and offer a range of vocational training programs. We will center on scaling up assistance to certain regions in pursuing rural revitalization and arrange training for rural workers, especially those lifted out of poverty, to help them move into non-agricultural jobs.

Improving the system means improving the vocational skill training system, increasing the supply of training, and enhancing a joint and shared training mechanism. We will promote a diversified training pattern combining government-subsidized, enterprise-initiated, and market-oriented training. We will vigorously develop vocational education, skilled worker education, and the construction of public training bases. In addition, we will comprehensively promote a training model of integrating work and study to build skills.

Boosting effectiveness means improving the quality of training effectively. We should respond to workers' diverse and differentiated needs to promote employment and entrepreneurship. We should adapt to industrial transformation, upgrading, and technological advancements and adjust training content promptly. We should direct training resources to focus on areas that are urgently needed by the market and crucial for enterprise production. Additionally, we should strengthen standardized management, fund supervision, and service guarantees for training.

Incentivizing and driving involve encouraging and guiding workers to love and devote themselves to their skills, to become skilled talents, and serve the country with their abilities. We will vigorously promote the model worker work ethic, the spirit of labor, and quality workmanship, inspiring workers to strive for the new journey and adhere to the idea that labor creates value. We will encourage them to "do what they love and love what they do, specialize in their craft, and become skilled at their work." We will improve the evaluation and incentive mechanisms, implement the "New Eight-Grade Worker" vocational skills level system, and strengthen the skill-value incentive orientation regarding salary income distribution. Before this year's Spring Festival, I visited a plant of the Beijing North Vehicle Group, where I met with several vocational-skilled talents. Ma Xiaoguang is a guiding role model for many young people due to his growth experience. Born in 1980, Ma enrolled in the vehicle plant's vocational education school at 15. After graduation, he started as an apprentice and made significant technological breakthroughs, such as CNC machine tools, while winning numerous invention awards. His skills and theoretical knowledge are highly regarded, and he has published many academic articles. Currently, he is the chief technician of the vehicle plant and a senior engineer in this field. He has two potential pathways for career advancement. According to plant management, his treatment is equivalent to that of a vice president. This type of career path plays an important role in developing and motivating skilled professionals. We will also improve the vocational skills competition system and drive job position training and skills competitions. Recently, the latest season of "Craftsmen of the Nation," produced by CCTV, showcased the inspiring stories and advanced skills of 10 individuals. I urge the reporters here to highlight the growth experiences of typical figures like them and promote their craftsmanship, spirit and values throughout society. This year, we will hold China's second Vocational Skills Competition in Tianjin, and we welcome everyone to follow the event closely. Thank you.

Shou Xiaoli:

Thank you, Ms. Wang Xiaoping, thank you to all the speakers, and thanks to all the journalists. Today's press conference has now concluded. Goodbye, everyone.

Translated and edited by Zhu Bochen, Zhou Jing, Gong Yingchun, Guo Yiming, Yan Xiaoqing, Qin Qi, Wang Yiming, Liu Caiyi, Xu Xiaoxuan, Wang Wei, Zhang Junmian, Liu Sitong, Yang Xi, Huang Shan, Li Huiru, He Shan, David Ball, Tom Arnsten, and Jay Birbeck. In case of any discrepancy between the English and Chinese texts, the Chinese version is deemed to prevail.

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