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Further cuts urged in vocational qualifications

Updated: May 25,2017 10:49 AM

The State Council executive meeting, presided over by Premier Li Keqiang on May 24, decided to set up a national catalogue of vocational qualifications, continue to reduce items and list the remainder in the catalogue.

No vocational qualifications should be set up without approvals, said Premier Li at the meeting, adding that measures should be taken to prevent the re-emergence of canceled ones and severely punish illegal actions.

The government should supervise areas that need to be monitored, and resolutely cut qualifications that need to be canceled, and authorities should not over-regulate or govern, he said.

As many new vocations and business models are booming, the government should not tightly control their development with administrative determination, but will use laws and market rules to regulate, he added.

“Talent is our biggest resource. Through the reform of administrative streamlining and service optimization, the government should deal with the relationship with markets, reduce burden on enterprises and release more market vigor,” said the Premier.

Simplifying vocational approvals and qualifications has been among the Premier’s main concerns. Starting from 2014, the State Council has cut 434 qualifications in seven batches, more than 70 percent of the total number.

More efforts will be made to streamline the qualifications, said the Premier.

The meeting on May 24 also said all legitimate vocational qualifications must be included in the catalogue and managed, assessment is required for setting up and canceling qualifications, and setting up new qualifications requires public input and should be approved by the State Council.

The already canceled qualifications must be prevented from emerging again under new names, said the Premier.

For the national catalogue, Premier Li expected a further cut. He said the various fees for enterprises and high institutional costs greatly constrain the innovation of start-ups.

Government departments also should be held accountable when holders of approved qualifications are found guilty of gross negligence caused by insufficient professional level, said the Premier, adding that only when holding responsibility for their power can the authorities not abuse their rights.