Government subsidies for professional skills training will cover workers’ whole professional career, Tang Tao, vice-minister of Human Resources and Social Security, said at the State Council policy briefing on April 23.
He explained the lifelong professional training system that China plans to set up, which was decided at the State Council executive meeting on April 18.
The lifelong training system will cover all workers in rural and urban areas, and meet their diverse needs and the needs of social-economic development, according to the plan.
Special training programs will be launched for groups such as college students, migrant workers and skilled workers. Craftsmanship, professionalism and entrepreneurship will be the focus of the training.
Enterprises will be encouraged to enhance the supply of professional training. The channels of fundraising will be expanded to include government, enterprises and social organizations, he said.
He cited Premier Li Keqiang’s comment at the State Council executive meeting: “Lifelong professional skills training will help ease the shortage of skilled workers, improve total factor productivity and promote China’s economy to the middle- and high-end.”
The government has always paid attention to professional training, Tang said. By the end of 2017, China had set up over 20,000 professional training institutions and more than 8,000 professional skills appraisal institutions. Every year, professional training with government subsidy covers nearly 17 million people.
But some problems still exist. Tang said professional training does not cover enough workers, the supply of training service is not sufficient, and the training should be more targeted and effective.
Role of enterprises
Enterprises should play a principal role in lifelong professional skill training, Tang emphasized.
“The role of enterprises has been mentioned in another document before, and we particularly emphasized its importance once again,” he said during the policy briefing.
As for incentives, Tang said that enterprises can take action in two aspects. One is funding. Subsidies should cover all skilled personnel, both new employees and existing employees, and government will take on one part of the subsidies. The other is preferential tax policies. Tax reductions on employee training and education expenditures can encourage enterprises to develop professional skills training.
“The training of high-skilled personnel also needs to be further strengthened,” Tang said.