China sees high employment rate for vocational school graduates

09:00, June 24, 2011      

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The employment rate for graduates of China's vocational schools reached 96.56 percent in 2010, statistics from the Ministry of Education showed.

Out of the 6.59 million students who graduated from vocational schools last year, 6.36 million have found jobs, according to the ministry.

"The increased employment rate shows the achievements of China's vocational education system," said Wang Yangnan, a senior official with the ministry, said on Thursday after the figures were released.

Figures showed that students who studied in transportation-related programs had the easiest time finding jobs, with their employment rate hitting 99.19 percent. Vocational students who studied disciplines related to processing, manufacturing and information technology were also hot on the labor market.

"Local governments and schools have done a lot to help students get jobs," Wang said, noting that 79.26 percent of last year's vocational school graduates found jobs through recommendations by their schools.

The public attitude toward vocational schools, which train students to work in highly technical sectors, has been more positive in China in recent years, partially due to surging demand for skilled workers from the country's robust manufacturing industry.

In contrast with the job-hunting difficulties that graduates from universities and colleges have faced, skilled workers have had a much easier time finding employment, as job vacancies for skilled workers across the country hit 4 million around the end of 2009.

China's authorities have been injecting large amounts of money into vocational schools and encouraging the schools to enroll more students since the late 1990s.

Last year, the government introduced new policy initiatives that granted living subsidies to students from needy families and provided internship opportunities for students who were finishing up their final year of schooling.

"Greater efforts should be made to let the Chinese people see and experience the advantages of vocational education," Wang said.

The ministry will host a skill contest for vocational school students in north China's city of Tianjin from June 24 to 27. More than 5,000 students have applied to compete in the event.

Wang said the competition will also bring students new job opportunities, as representatives from more than 100 major companies are set to be present at the competition.

Statistics showed that China had 14,800 vocational schools with 19.87 million students in 2010.

Most of the programs prescribed by the country's vocational schools last for three years and are open to students after they finish nine years of compulsory education.

Source: Xinhua
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