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Chinese should take closer look at vocational training

Editor: Tong Xinxin 丨CCTV.com

12-07-2015 15:09 BJT

By Christina Kitova, associate partner at Hodges Media Communications, based in Oklahoma City, OK. USA

A new generation of young college-educated Chinese are emerging to the workplace, while there are numerous jobs available within the manufacturing and hospitality sectors in the nation. Nevertheless, too many new college graduates have made the assumption that being employed as a factory worker or in the services industry is considered a sub-standard career choice.

Somehow, millions upon millions of young Chinese have concluded they should all be pre-destined for better social status as they believe a factory worker is only for the poor and uneducated.

Accordingly, there’s a dramatic labor shortage in the manufacturing sector where more workers are needed to replace those who are aging. Meanwhile there’s an overwhelming shortage of office jobs available for recent graduates.

For the past few decades, China has spent large sums of funding to educate the youth, by producing many college graduates in the fields of engineering, math, and general sciences but only a select few have captured much success securing high-paying employment in their fields of expertise.

China has become a manufacturing giant on a global scale and many businesses throughout the world are operating in China to manufacture their goods and products, which generates massive amounts of revenue for the domestic economy as well.

Yet, a developing crisis has ensued where demand for manufacturing and production remains high but labor supply has gotten more scarce.

An increasing number of Chinese parents are expecting their children to become college graduates just for the sake of social status. They insist on their children obtaining professional positions within an office-type setting. But that’s not sustainable and, China would experience serious repercussions from such employment imbalances.

Recent graduates are no longer similar to their parents, who worked very long hours and would take any type of work in order to sustain a family and act as good providers. The new generation expects to get hired into high-paying office jobs to receive outstanding perks and to gain affluence. 

Additionally, the educational degrees which are obtained by most Chinese remain predominantly within the same fields that meet large job supply demands, therefore causing wages to drop further as employers experience hiring from a glut of young prospective candidates.

The new college graduates, who consider themselves to be part of a so-called special anointed class, are backing themselves into a dangerous economic corner, if such employment imbalances are not immediately addressed.

For a national economy to function at full-steam ahead, there must be a healthy balance between blue and white-collared jobs. The onus should be on academia to raising its standards on enrollment for higher education.

Additionally, young Chinese should take a closer look at enrolling into vocational training programs that teach technical job skills for blue-collar work.

Too many graduates without a job or making contributions to their society would likely become a burden on the same society, which has created them. Let’s not forget, there are many jobs available in China and it has become a very attractive place to be employed.

But, the new graduates must understand that it is sometimes better and wiser to accept a manufacturing job and focus on getting promoted in the field, while still taking advantage of a greater education. This is a much better scenario than to stay underemployed, simply because you wait for a job as an office worker.

There is a real labor shortage taking place in China for skilled blue-collar labor. Meanwhile, it is possible that foreign workers could become more interested in getting hired into manufacturing positions and moving to China. Hence, that’s especially important to consider, since the construction and manufacturing industries will continue to boom for many years ahead.


( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )



Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.



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