Quality apprenticeship workshop: renaissance for youth employment challenges in the new context in China

The ILO hosted quality apprenticeship workshop to assist its Chinese partners in addressing youth employment issues in the new context.

Press release | 23 May 2019
Group photo of the participants
Beijing (ILO news) – On the occasion of its 100 years, the ILO co-hosted quality apprenticeship workshop in Beijing with MOHRSS on 20-22 May, aiming at addressing skills mismatch issues in labour market and promote youth employment in China through a new model of enterprise-based apprenticeship.

Youth employment is a prominent global challenge in the world of work. The paradox of young people are 3 times more likely to be unemployed and at the same time employers cannot recruit workers with the skills they seek has been long-standing. How to match the skills supply, in particular young people, to the needs of enterprises and labour markets is a priority issue to almost all ILO member states.

As probably the oldest public-private partnerships in history, both in China and globally, apprenticeships have been rediscovered as a key element of labour market policy and skill development, and have been increasingly recognized as key policy tools to facilitate school-to-work transition and enhance successful employment for young people.

However, the situation exists against a background of unprecedented transformational change in the world of work driven by technological innovation, demographics, climate change and globalization. Specifically in China, the economy has shifted from high-speed to high-quality that to innovate a new model and quality apprenticeship system will help provide more skilled talents for the development and support for supply-side structural reform. Chinese government therefore piloted the programmes between 2015 and 2018, and rolling out nationwide beginning in 2019.

The ILO has translated the ILO Toolkit for Quality Apprenticeships Volume 1: Guide for Policy Makers in order to better share its knowledge and expertise with local partners. Furthermore, the workshop shared ILO’s international good practices, discussed and contributed to the improvement of the new apprenticeship system in China by gathering international and national experts and officials from the ILO, MOHRSS, ACFTU, CEC, local governments and training institutions and enterprises. It also provided a platform to the ILO, and its partners MOHRSS and JPMorgan to explore more opportunities for cooperation in the future.

“Apprenticeship is one of the core areas of ILO’s work and plays an growingly important role in skills development and employment promotion.” Mr Dai Xiaochu, Deputy Director of ILO Country Office for China and Mongolia said. He called upon the tripartite constituents and relevant stakeholders to pay close attention on high-quality apprenticeship, to increase investment in people's capabilities and establish an effective lifelong learning system, as emphasized in the ILO Global Commission Report on Future of Work launched this January.