New occupations create job opportunities amid China's economic shift
A number of new occupations have emerged amid China's shift to higher-quality growth, reflecting the vitality of the country's new economy and creating promising job opportunities.
These occupations, ranging from robot engineering technicians to building energy conservation consultants, offer a glimpse into how far China has gone in pushing for development that is innovation-driven and low-carbon and meets the public's demand for better lives.
Fu Linghui, spokesperson with the National Bureau of Statistics, told a press conference Friday that China is seeing continued economic transformation and upgrading with innovation impetus continuing to grow in August. The spokesperson added that the fast recovery of the service sector contributed more to economic growth last month.
Powered by the emergence of innovative industries, new business forms, and models, China's new growth driver index, compiled by the NBS, jumped by 28.4 percent in 2022 from a year ago to hit 766.8, according to the bureau.
ROBOT ENGINEERING TECHNICIAN
Thanks to Zhang Shourong and other R&D technicians from the logistics robot company Geek+ in Beijing, robots have remarkably enhanced warehouse efficiency.
"The type of warehouse work that used to require hard manual labor, such as moving and packing cargo, can now be increasingly handled by robots," said Zhang. "It's my job to make these robots more efficient and stable to meet clients' demands."
Robot engineering technician was among the 18 new occupations announced by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security in June 2022.
China's robot industry logged an annual average growth rate of 22 percent from 2017 to 2022, according to an industry report published by the Chinese Institute of Electronics. Robot application scenarios have also expanded fast.
NBS data shows that in the first eight months, investment in high-tech industries grew by 11.3 percent year on year, and investment in scientific research and technological services surged by 22.3 percent.
With the robust development of the robotics sector, the demand for talent is surging, said Dong Kai, who is in charge of policy research with the China Center for Information Industry Development under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).
From 2015 to 2025, a total of 4.5 million people are needed in the CNC machine tools and robots sectors to close the talent gap, according to a manufacturing talent development guide released by the MIIT and two other departments.
The energy of innovation in China's robotics industry is palpable for Zhang, who observes new ideas and products emerging frequently in the sector.
"I believe the career outlook for robotics engineering technicians is promising. I hope I can improve my skills and knowledge to ride the tide of the times," Zhang said.
BUILDING ENERGY CONSERVATION CONSULTANT
Zhang Chong, an engineer with an energy and environment design and research company based in Zhejiang Province, east China, is tasked with making the air-conditioning control system of an industrial building more energy efficient.
His work could help the cooling system save more than 30 percent of energy and reduce its annual electricity charges by 60 percent.
A building energy conservation consultant can reduce the energy use of buildings with better planning and architectural designs, increased use of renewable energy and energy storage facilities, and smart energy networks, according to Zhang.
China has announced that it will peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. Under the ambitious dual carbon goals, it has vowed to accelerate building energy efficiency.
By 2025, over 350 million square meters of existing buildings will be renovated to conserve energy, and over 50 million square meters of ultra-low and near-zero energy consumption buildings will be built, according to the country's top housing department.
In Zhang's eyes, the favorable policies will help create plentiful opportunities for the development of his occupation in the next decade.
There are challenges, too. Zhang has to keep up to date with developments in various subjects such as energy planning, electrical power, water supply and drainage as well as air conditioning system automation control to stay relevent.
"We have to learn, research, develop, and practice on and on," he said.
In addition to the occupations emerging along with the development of high-tech sectors and China's green transition efforts, there are also new jobs created by the hostel sector, an emerging force in China's tourism and accomodation industries in recent years.
Yu Meilin, a housekeeper at a B&B in Tonglu County beside Fuchun River in Zhejiang, is introducing her guests to different types of plants to help them differentiate the edible and delicious.
Differentiating food ingredients is just one of many tasks she does every day. According to the human resources department, hostel housekeepers provide guests with customized services such as accommodation and meals as well as environment, culture, and lifestyle experiences.
Serving as a "bridge" between a hostel and its guests, a hostel housekeeper provides a personal touch and determines the quality of a hostel, said Miao Weixiang, a trainer at a hostel housekeeper training center in Moganshan Township in the city of Huzhou.
The hostel industry has seen the number of B&B housekeeper practitioners pass the 1 million mark in China, according to the country's top human resources department.
NBS data shows that the production index of China's service industry grew 6.8 percent year on year in August, 1.1 percentage points faster than the previous month.
China has vowed to further promote the development of the B&B economy and other rural revitalization industries in a plan to expand domestic demand for the 2022-2035 period.