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China’s 30 years of education reform and development have cultivated a labor force oriented to meet the needs of industrial economic development. Today’s challenge is to promote the transformation of China’s talent training mode, improve the skill level of the labor force, and enable it to adapt to the needs of innovation and digitization in the post industrial economy era. The main points of this report are as follows:
The transformation of talent training mode may help China continuously improve people’s living standards. In the past 30 years, China has made remarkable progress in terms of household income, labor productivity and GDP growth. Maintaining wage growth and productivity improvement is the key to continuously improving people’s living standards. According to the interpretation of some domestic think tanks, China’s goal is to reach 70% of the per capita GDP of high-income economies by 2050, which means that the per capita GDP and wages need to maintain an average annual growth rate of 4.7% and 4.9% respectively. This requires China to actively explore how to improve the quality and skills of workers.
As many as one-third of global career and skill changes may take place in China. By 2030, as many as 220 million Chinese workers (30% of the workforce) may change jobs due to the impact of automation technology. According to the future work model of McKinsey Global Research Institute, the share of career change in China accounts for about 36% of the world. In the medium automation scenario, by 2030, about 516 billion man hours (averaging about 87 days per worker) may need to be redeployed due to changing skills needs. Considering that the proportion of migrant workers’ work content affected by automation technology is as high as 22% ~ 40%, and the skill level of this group is usually low, and the resources and channels for skill development are limited, China may need to provide more support for this group.
These changes put forward new requirements for the transformation of China’s education and skills development system. We need to focus on the following three aspects – the three “all” for short. First of all, learners should not be limited to school-age population, but should include Chinese adult workers (all), which is equivalent to three times the range of learners. Second, learning content may not be limited to basic knowledge, but should cover a wide range of skills (all content). By 2030, the total demand for high cognitive skills, social and emotional communication skills and technical skills will increase by 236 billion working hours, averaging about 40 days per worker. Third, education and skills development should be everywhere and anytime, and the concept of lifelong learning should be set up (everywhere), so that all workers can participate in various forms of retraining every year.
According to the in-depth study of China’s and global best practices, China may start with the following four major initiatives to carry out pilot projects to promote transformation:
– digital technology. The digital level of China’s economy is relatively high, and the investment in educational technology is also increasing. More than 2 million people can provide micro courses through the digital platform, and can also improve the teaching efficiency with the help of artificial intelligence, virtual reality and other tools. More than 900 million Internet users may be able to benefit from digital technology and obtain higher teaching quality by using online and offline integrated learning mode.
– build a collaborative ecosystem. Expanding cooperation between the public and private sectors helps to fill the gap between skills development and market demand. Educational institutions and employers can jointly design projects to promote innovative research. The establishment of school enterprise alliance between schools and employers is expected to attract 300000 enterprises to participate. Among the ten key manufacturing fields identified by the Chinese government, there is a talent shortage of 30 million, and school enterprise cooperation in these specific industries may help to solve this problem.
– optimize the path of vocational education. To further enhance the attractiveness of the development track of vocational school students, such as providing “3 + 4” and other flexible models to let them directly enter the application-oriented university. At the same time, it should also provide career development support for the half-way professional and technical workers. China can speed up the development of vocational educators with industry experience, making them more than 80% of the total, so as to improve the quality of teachers.
– change thinking and strengthen encouragement. Workers can use the information platform, participate in various micro certification projects, master the required skills, and form the habit of lifelong learning. Employers can enhance their competitiveness by increasing training. The government can provide positive incentives for human capital investment.
The transformation needs to integrate all forces: the national leading group is composed of representatives of ministries and commissions and subject experts to grasp the overall direction; Local governments, employers, educational institutions and social institutions form local execution units to promote the implementation of the plan; Attract in-depth participation from the private sector to become an educator in their company, as well as an investor in skills and training. Senior executives can make a list of priorities, including identifying skill gaps, ensuring that management invests more resources in training employees, seeking to establish cooperation with educational institutions, and making training an integral part of corporate government relations.
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