Shanghai contestants show off their skills

Yang Meiping
Competitors from the city are taking part in the 1st Vocational Skills Competition of the People's Republic of China.
Yang Meiping

Ninety-seven competitors from Shanghai are taking part in all 86 skills at the 1st Vocational Skills Competition of the People’s Republic of China in Guangzhou, which began on Thursday and will run through Sunday.

Shanghai also has 83 judges at the event and 86 coaches and psychiatrists supporting the competitors – 61 students and 36 employees.

Seventy-three people will compete in 63 skill categories included in the 46th WorldSkills Competition due to take place in Shanghai in 2022.

Zhang Lan, deputy director of the Shanghai Human Resources and Social Security Bureau, said the event was a great opportunity for Shanghai to learn how to organize a large-scale skills competition.

“As a host city for the 46th WorldSkills Competition, we will carefully learn from Guangzhou in competition organizing and promote the WorldSkills Competition and the WorldSkills Museum, which is being built in Shanghai, to participants from all over the country,” he said.

Zhang said Shanghai has been promoting cultivation of skilled talent these years and has built up a team of skilled talent that can meet demand from local industries.

According to government statistics, about 1.16 million people in Shanghai are certificated as highly skilled staff, more than 35 percent of all the skilled talent in the city.

Zhang said Shanghai has been increasing training opportunities for talent. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Shanghai subsidized over 1.73 million people who had vocational training in the past 11 months, more than in the same period last year.

During the pandemic, the government introduced a policy to subsidize people receiving online training. By the end of November, more than 6,100 enterprises in Shanghai had launched online training, involving more than a million employees.

In October, the human resources bureau and the city’s finance bureau launched a program to promote integration of online and offline vocational training.

Shanghai has been encouraging enterprises to take part in cultivation of highly skilled talent. Leading enterprises, industrial associations and industrial parks have established 130 such training bases covering areas such as artificial intelligence, integrated circuits and biomedicine.

Vocational schools are also being encouraged to open training to the public, while a new policy that allows foreign ventures to establish training organizations with Chinese partners has attracted more than 10 foreign ventures, including Le Cordon Bleu, PwC and Ernst & Young.

To promote the spirit of and social respect for artisanship, the city has been organizing more than 500 skills competitions at different scales every year, attracting more than 100,000 participants.

To prepare for the national vocational skills competition, Shanghai’s educational institutions and enterprises established 86 training bases to train and select competitors.

To encourage contestants and training staff, the city decided to provide bonuses for all of those taking part in the competition, besides the awards given by the national government, said Zhang.

Those who finish in the top five in skill programs for individuals, top three in those for pairs and top two in trios will be granted the honorary title of Shanghai Technical Expert.

Outstanding winning competitors will be recommended for honors such as Shanghai Labor Day Medals and the title of Shanghai Youth Master.

Top female winners and their chief female coaches will be honored as female meritorious models.

Training bases and chief of training teams of medal winners will also be honored for their contributions.

If the winners are secondary vocational school students, they will enjoy favorable policies in applying for colleges.

Winners of gold, silver and bronze medals as well as medallions for excellence will have their vocational qualifications upgraded. Those who are not native Shanghainese will enjoy priority in getting permanent residence certificates in Shanghai.

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