During 31 March to 1 April, ILO successfully held Capacity Building Workshops on Quality Apprenticeship in Chongqing in collaboration with Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS). Around 40 representatives from MOHRSS, China Enterprise Confederation (CEC), management departments of 4 pilot cities (Chongqing, Huzhou, Rizhao and Tianjin) and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), pilot enterprises, pilot TVET institutions and national experts in vocational training and apprenticeship participated in the workshops. In addition, 186 practitioners in apprenticeship and vocational education from pilot units, academic institutions and development agencies attended the workshops online.
In the opening remarks, Director-General of International Cooperation Department, MOHRSS Mr. Bin HAO highlighted the importance of skill development as a national strategy and appreciated the high efficiency of the project implementation. He encouraged all pilot units to keep the momentum to complete project piloting activities by learning from global experience in quality apprenticeship and contributing more good practices of China New Enterprise-based Apprenticeship Program to the world. Skills and Employability Specialist, ILO DWT-Bangkok Mr. Julien MAGNAT briefed what the project has achieved so far. He stressed that ILO is determined to address challenges of youth employment and long-term COVID-19 impact together with allies by improving systems of skill development and lifelong learning, and promoting quality apprenticeship is an essential component. ‘Quality Apprenticeship and Lifelong Learning in China’ project is making solid efforts to contribute to capacity building of apprenticeship in China.
On the first day of the meeting, Ms. Xian GUAN, National Project Coordinator of ILO CO-Beijing presented preliminary findings of research on China New Enterprise-based Apprenticeship Program based on questionnaire responses provided by 36 enterprises, 27 TVET institutions and 4 management departments. Based on ILO 6 building blocks of quality apprenticeship, Ms. GUAN elaborated data analysis on the current implementation of China New Enterprise-based Apprenticeship Program and feedback by survey participants. Following the presentation, hosted by Deputy Director of ILO CO-Beijing Mr. Xiaochu DAI, a tripartite roundtable discussion among enterprises, TVET institutions and management departments focused on concerns raised in the survey, such as how to collaborate in the design and delivery of apprenticeship training and how to improve the funding mechanism. There was also a discussion on the experience of piloting ILO online course ‘Tools of Quality Apprenticeship in Enterprises’ which took place in January and February as a part of local piloting activities. Course users generally agreed that the course vividly and comprehensively provides a framework of quality apprenticeship training life cycle, meanwhile, they look forward to more detailed tools and Chinese cases.
The first workshop mainly provided a thorough tour of ILO Toolkit for Quality Apprenticeships Volume 2: Guide for Practitioners which is already adapted to a Chinese version. ILO Quality Apprenticeship Global Team Leader and Senior Specialist of Skills and Employability Mr. Ashwani AGGARWAl and Skills and Employability Specialist Mr. Julien MAGNAT introduced the Toolkit and explained each chapter. Deputy Director of ILO CO-Beijing Mr. Xiaochu DAI also showed several practical tool examples in the Toolkit to illustrate how this Toolkit can be fully used in practice.
The second workshop concentrated on the following two themes: effective partnership building in apprenticeship training and international labour standard setting on apprenticeships. 3 speakers from enterprises and TVET institutions shared national best practices of how to enhance partnerships when implementing apprenticeship. Chongqing College of Electronic Engineering presented a case of ‘Enterprise University’ in collaboration with Changan Auto to integrate production needs into vocational training. Huzhou Changxing Technician College introduced how to cooperate with continuing education institutes in villages and towns to deliver tailored apprenticeship training. CNPC comprehensively showed several innovative ways in apprenticeship training, such as pairing workers in different skill areas for mutual learning. National experience sharing stimulated an active discussion among participants. Following the discussion, Visiting Senior Research Fellow of King’s College London Mr. Jeff BRIDGFORD presented country case studies of building an effective partnership between enterprises and TVET institutions. The last session was about international labour standard setting on apprenticeships. ILO Quality Apprenticeship Global Team Leader and Senior Specialist of Skills and Employability Mr. Ashwani AGGARWAl outlined the on-going discussion in ILO on apprenticeships which may lead to a new convention and/or a recommendation on apprenticeships in the near future. This will be a new international labour standard to shape a new era of apprenticeships and lifelong learning.
Capacity Building Workshops on Quality Apprenticeship respond to the needs raised by the government, enterprises and TVET institutions which are actively involved in project local piloting. In particular, the workshops further strengthen practitioners’ knowledge and capacities in establishing a productive partnership in order for the success of apprenticeship training. Following the workshops, a research report on China New Enterprise-based Apprenticeship Program will be developed and finalized. 30 trainers from 17 enterprises and training centers will soon pilot a new ILO global Quality Apprenticeship Training of Trainers package.