China plans to train 30 million people through vocational education in the next three years, preparing the country as the largest manufacturing center in the world.
An official with the Ministry of Education (MOE) announced the plan here Friday at a national exhibition on vocational education.
Statistics from the MOE show that over the past two decades, 50million Chinese have graduated from vocational schools.
But with its fast economic growth and social development, China is seriously short of well-trained workers for its industrial and service sectors.
Figures also indicate that of 70 million Chinese workers in the industrial sector, 60 percent are at the junior level, only 35 percent at middle level and 3.5 percent at senior level.
But in developed countries, the junior, middle and senior-level workers respectively account for 15 percent, 50 percent, and 35 percent, according to the MOE.
Meanwhile, with the acceleration of urbanization, experts predict that about 8 million Chinese rural residents will pour into the cities every year.
In order to maintain fast economic growth and social stability, the MOE said it would promote vocational education, especially the vast western areas.
The MOE plan shows the number of students to be recruited from China's rural areas will increase from 2.54 million to up to 4 million.
The MOE also hopes that by giving preferential policies to vocational schools in the west, the enrollment rate could rise from 72 per 10,000 people to 92 per 10,000.
According to the MOE, the State Council will hold a high level national meeting on vocational education on July 28.
( People's Daily July 29, 2002)