From education to employment

Is the Chinese TVET sector worth investing in? 

This question is one that requires very serious consideration and identification before taking any action forward on it.

Realising the Chinese government have recently prioritised the Development of Vocational Education is a great place to start and although this has been the case since long before the pandemic, in 2020 new policies were set forward by the Ministry of Education (MoE) that have gone as far as diverting large percentages of the student population onto vocational pathways. 

Recently there has also been a sudden recognition of the importance in employer engagement to support Chinese vocational education sector development. Great importance and emphasis is being placed on Regional Governments in China who are tasked with attracting manufacturing investment to their respective regions. The MoE has rightly identified Vocational Education system development as the key and starting point to help fill the skills gaps that currently exist, and begin to build a high value Human Resource (HR) supply chain, which is clear from the “Made in China 2025” objectives. The solution being sought is around the transitioning of students to workplace, particularly as the unemployment rate of young people in China is currently at an all time high.

The market demographic since 2019 has also changed. Although there are still high numbers of lower demographic students seeking affordable social mobility, there are now also higher numbers of higher demographic students on vocational pathways, whom would have previously taken private and/or academic pathways. There are over 120,000 vocational colleges in China, with an average of 20-30,000 full time students. Since 2019 the estimated growth is around 35% in the mid to higher demographic moving into the vocational pathways. With the changes in policies, increasing demand on the sector to perform, and along with more traditional polytechnic colleges being converted to vocational universities, the opportunity is buoyant for the colleges from UK supporting and offering sustainable sector development programmes.  

CUK TVET Alliance will be happy to discuss the opportunity with FE colleges in the UK who would like to look at China and expand on their international programmes.  Introductions can be made over time, to your college and the creation of partnerships with colleges in China, involving opportunities in employer engagement development and student mobility for the Chinese partner, student social mobility and exchange projects for both colleges, and enabling measurable international standards and practices within Chinese Colleges. 

CUK TVET Alliance is a not-for-profit organisation and offers guidance for UK FE colleges who are seeking sustainable relationships with Chinese learned colleagues. Contact Peter for more information. 

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