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Skills Competition becomes bellwether of future industrial trends

2018-05-08 14:53:00

At the Tianjin Vocational Institute, one of the locations for the 11th National Vocational Students Skills Competition, a "New Energy Vehicle Technology and Service" competition in the vocational college student category attracted special attention. This newly-introduced challenge comprised three modules: electric vehicles troubleshooting, battery pack disassembly and inspection, and energy supply system testing and diagnosis, all designed to examine the contestants' ability to overhaul and maintain new energy vehicles.

In line with vocational education’s purpose in China, i.e., serving and driving the country’s industrial transformation to take China to a higher level, the national skills competition has been constantly adapted to reflect the latest economic developments and trends, and the most pressing needs of businesses. To some extent, it has been regarded a bellwether for China’s industrial transformation. For instance, the Modern Logistics Challenge introduced in the 2011 Competition was a direct response to the chaotic shipping and disappointing delivery services following an epic 936 million RMB shopping spree on November 11, 2010, known as the Singles Day Shopping Festival. Another example was the Air Pollution Detection and Control Technology Challenge introduced at the 2015 event as citizens were seeking refuge from smog shrouding large swathes of China.

For this year’s event, the New Energy Vehicle Technology Challenge was introduced in the context of "Made in China 2025", a blueprint initiative announced by the Chinese government for transforming the country into an advanced manufacturing economy, where new energy vehicle manufacturing, as part of the New Energy Strategy, features prominently among other hi-tech sectors. Mechatronics and Metal Smelting and Equipment Overhaul in the vocational college student category are also new additions, both designed to address industrial upgrading and business needs.

Certain conventional competition elements, such as design and entry requirements, were updated to reflect emerging needs. For instance, 3D modeling and digital design and manufacturing were featured in entries to the Numerical Control category. In the telecommunications category, cutting edge 4G network architecture was applied in participating projects. The industrial robotics competition in the vocational college student category was aligned with goals set out in Made in China 2025, with a focus on "Internet +" solutions and smart manufacturing.

To better serve the national economy, vocational colleges located in the host city have been adapting and expanding programs, which now include equipment manufacturing, aerospace, ICT, new energy, bio-pharmaceuticals, shipping and logistics, finance, modern services, inter alia.

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