Economic Watch: Vocational education powers China's manufacturing upgrading

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TIANJIN, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- Shi Jiafeng, who has just joined the Tianjin Laomeihua Shoe Industry Clothing Co., Ltd., is now busy working to attract customers for livestreaming sales on China's major e-commerce platform Tmall.

This July, the e-commerce major from Tianjin Transportation Technical College became the director in charge of livestreaming selling sessions on Tmall at the time-honored shoe and clothing brand in the northern municipality of Tianjin.

The school-enterprise cooperation allowed her to join a project team of Laomeihua set up by the college, learning customer service, art designing, advertisement writing and promotion skills. She joined the team while in her sophomore year, and therefore although she was officially new to the team she was already very experienced.

With her help, the company's monthly sales during livestreaming sessions on Tmall have exceeded 100,000 yuan (about 14,700 U.S. dollars) for the first time.

Vocational schools under the school-enterprise cooperation can integrate the industrial demands into their daily teaching work after seeing more market changes, said experts at the World Vocational and Technical Education Development Conference that closed in Tianjin Saturday.

"In the new internet business model, manufacturing enterprises urgently need to establish and improve their online sales systems and recruit talents in the fields of trade and logistics," said Yu Haixiang, president of Tianjin Transportation Technical College. "We are training all of these talents."

With the help of government departments, the college has cooperated with many local enterprises, guiding students to set up different project teams and adapt to the business operations in advance, Yu said.

A rich reserve of talents is the basis for developing and upgrading the manufacturing industry. The industry's growth doesn't only include the research and development team, but also high-quality, skilled technicians.

For the high-tech manufacturing industry, the intelligent manufacturing capability of staff can have an impact on the long-term market competitiveness of enterprises.

Jia Jinghui, a graduate of Tianjin Electronic Information College, is currently working for HMN Technologies Co., Ltd., a submarine telecommunication solutions supplier.

While growing with the company, Jia deeply feels that the rapid changes in the manufacturing industry put forward higher requirements for technical skills.

"We must constantly learn to keep up with the pace of industrial transformation," Jia said. The learning and practical training at school have laid a good foundation for him, making him more determined to give full play to his advantages in a manufacturing company, Jia said.

Currently, China is moving up the value chain, striving to become a global manufacturing power. Many manufacturers in the country are engaged in industrial upgrading while seeking high-quality growth.

Wang Wei, director of the Planning Department of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said the industrial system and industrial chain of China's manufacturing industry have become more complete over the past decade while its innovation capacity and competitiveness have also increased greatly.

Over the past 10 years, the value-added industrial output of China's manufacturing industry had increased from 16.98 trillion yuan in 2012 to 31.4 trillion yuan in 2021, accounting for nearly 30 percent of the world's total.

China has 73 industrial enterprises shortlisted among the world's top 500 enterprises, and had 41,400 major high-tech manufacturing enterprises by the end of 2021, according to official statistics.

"Vocational education needs to closely follow and deeply integrate with China's real economy and manufacturing industry," said Zhang Danyang, president of Tianjin Electronic Information College. "Vocational education will have a bright development prospect." Enditem

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