Skills training creates more job options for Tibetan farmers

(Xinhua) 10:59, April 28, 2021

LHASA, April 27 (Xinhua) -- Wanglang, 41, used to eke out a living by herding his flock about 4,500 meters above sea level in the city of Nagqu, southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, as he lacked basic work skills.

"I told the local officials who visited my family that I would like to learn some skills," he said. After completing training courses and exams, Wanglang finally received his welding certificate.

In 2018, he bought some equipment and opened his own welding workshop, which saw a turnover of 36,000 yuan (about 5,545 U.S. dollars) that year.

Wanglang's story is a familiar one on the plateau, as an increasing number of farmers and herders in Tibet now have the opportunity to pursue a career different from that of their forebears.

Before the peaceful liberation of Tibet in 1951, most of the residents in Tibet lived under cruel feudal serfdom and abject penury as their labor was exploited by serf owners and lords.

Since the democratic reform launched in 1959, China has mobilized the whole nation to support the development of Tibet and gradually established a complete modern industrial system in the region. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the plateau region's peaceful liberation.

Over seven decades, the number of permanent residents in Tibet has increased from more than 1 million to over 3.5 million. By the end of 2019, Tibet had lifted all its 74 poverty-stricken counties and residents out of poverty.

In 2020, Tibet saw its regional GDP top 190 billion yuan, up 7.8 percent year on year.

With rapid economic and social development, more and more surplus rural workers in Tibet have bid farewell to the tedious life of farming and herding and ranged further afield in search of jobs in townships and cities.

Ngawang, a villager of Lhatse County, the city of Shigatse, now works in a Tibetan carpet cooperative near her home, making more than 2,000 yuan a month.

"My family can also receive dividends of 10,000 yuan each year from the village's herding cooperative," Ngawang said.

Since 2016, nearly 5 million farmers and herders in Tibet have landed new jobs while around 100,000 people have received vocational skill training, according to the regional human resource authority.

Kelsang Droma, a researcher with the China Tibetology Research Center, said the urban-rural integrated development and rapid urbanization in Tibet will accelerate the progress in Tibet's employment structure and become a major force in promoting the region's economic growth.

Last year, Wanglang expanded his workshop and earned nearly 50,000 yuan.

"It is the skills training that changed my life," he said.

(Web editor: Shi Xi, Liang Jun)


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