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New system to encourage students to gain more vocational skills

Updated: Feb 20,2019 5:15 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — Under a new system set for a trial run starting in March, students at vocational colleges, as well as universities that mainly offer undergraduate programs in applied areas, will be awarded diplomas for the vocational skills they have acquired, according to the Ministry of Education.

Alongside an academic certificate, students will be awarded diplomas that indicate the levels of vocational skills they have gained in various specific areas of interest, under the “one plus X” certificate system.

The new system is designed to help address the problem that China’s vocational education has long failed to meet demands arising from the economic and social development, facilitate cultivation of skilled workers and promote employment and entrepreneurship, says Wang Yangnan, head of the Central Institute for Vocational and Technical Education, an affiliate of the education ministry.

Programs regarding vocational skills certification will be launched for around ten specific areas of interest in selected colleges in 2019 and will gradually cover more kinds of skills and extend across the country after 2021, according to the ministry.

China has vowed to cultivate more quality laborers and skilled workers by reforming its vocational education systems, according to a plan for implementing the reform issued earlier this month by the State Council, or China’s cabinet.

All sectors of society, especially enterprises, are encouraged to support the country’s vocational education, the plan says, adding that major companies are welcome to run vocational schools and offer high-quality programs.