Vocational Education Gets Boost from Ministry of Education
The Ministry of Education and seven other departments issued statements on education, supporting the upgrading of social service industries and improvement in the quality of training.
The official statement pointed out that the focus of vocational education should be on improving the ability of education to support the expansion of social service industries, speeding up the establishment and expansion of a training system in areas such as home economics, old-age care and child-rearing.
The following are the specific measures proposed:
• Improve the layout of the profession. Introduce ‘dynamic adjustment into the profession, optimizing the catalogue of disciplines and adding specialists in relevant fields. For problem-solving, focus on the shortage of talent in areas such as housekeeping, old-age care, healthcare and childcare services.
• Focus on expanding the scale of technical skills training. Encourage qualified vocational institutes to actively create professions such as nursing, housekeeping service and management, old age service and management, health management, early childhood care, preschool education, rehabilitation therapy technology, Chinese medicine rehabilitation technology, recreation and leisure travel services and fitness guidance and management.
• Accelerating the training of innovative talents to meet the needs of new formats and models. Encourage the guidance of ordinary undergraduate colleges to actively adapt to the needs of the development of the social service industry.
• Actively cultivate high-level management and R&D talents. Strengthen the basic research of relevant disciplines in the social service industry. Support colleges and universities to carry out research on related industrial policies and personnel training.
• Support the development of the educational qualifications of employees. Support social service industry practitioners to receive vocational education through various channels and enhance their academic qualifications.
• Encourage schools to carry out extensive vocational training. Promote the combination of relevant enterprises in vocational colleges and universities and improve the technical skills of the employees.
• Improve the teaching within the standard system. Update and promote the professional teaching standards of vocational institutes in the field of social services.
• Build high-quality curriculum resources. Focusing on professional ethics, safety awareness, and legal consciousness. In addition, expand the knowledge resources available in psychology, medical science, and communication skills.
• Pilot the 1+X certification system. Actively recruit and promote vocational education and training evaluation organizations to jointly organize high-quality enterprises in the social service industry.
• Promote in-depth cooperation between schools and enterprises. Encourage social forces to organize vocational schools.
• Encourage students to innovate and start businesses. Encourage institutions to build a space around: ‘Internet + Home Economics’; ‘Internet + Pension’; ‘Internet + Health Services’; etc.
• Create a team of two teachers. Hire part-time teachers in vocational colleges.
• International exchange and cooperation. Introduce professional standards, curriculum standards and technical standards in relevant fields internationally. Select 30 colleges and universities to introduce international advanced curriculum design and teaching management system.
McKinsey believes that, with the rapid development of technology, by 2030 116 million jobs will have been taken over by robots in the manufacturing industry in China. This will have inevitable consequences, above all the acquisition of new skills to upgrade the Chinese workforce to adapt to human-robot cooperation.
Due to continuous advancement of the reform and policies just like the one mentioned above, China’s vocational education industry has now stepped into an era of development with wide prospects.
According to the ‘2018–2023 China Upper Secondary Vocational Education Industry Development Model and Investment Prospect Analysis Report’ China’s vocational education market will exceed CNY 1 trillion 2020.
With the development of internet technology and the demand for the improvement of professional skills, IT-based learning has become an important sub-sector for on-the-job training. A number of vocational education companies offering such services are growing, such as Sanjieke(三节课), Mtedu(馒头商学院), and ichazuo.cn(插座学院).
In the first half of 2019, 28 deals were closed by vocational education startups. The investment boom is being driven by huge market demand - all of this - amid the new Industrial Revolution, Known by many as ‘Industry 4.0’ and branded officially as ‘Made in China 2025.’
A total of 184 education industry financing deals were disclosed in the first half of 2019. K-12 sector lead with 52 deals followed by competence-based learning and educational service providers. A handful of outsized rounds account for a substantial percentage for competence-based learning and K12 after-school tutoring.