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Creating a stronger workforce to bolster “intelligent manufacturing in China”: a college teacher’s perspective

2018-05-10 15:20:00

Mr. Ma Dongbao teaches Mechanical and Electrical Engineering at the Beijing Polytechnic (Vocational College for Electronic Science Technology), and has “coached” star teams taking part in the skills category of integrated mechanical and electrical engineering in the National Vocational Students Skills Competition for five consecutive years.

The 2018 National Vocational Students Skills Competition began in May, but Ma started recruiting team members last September. Every year, he studies the new competition rules and makes a plan, and then through scientific, targeted training prepares his hand-picked team: even for unexpected circumstances. This explains the resilience of the Beijing Polytechnic team to unexpected equipment failures and has helped them to be successful up until now.

Ma sees these competitions as an ideal opportunity for selecting the best engineers and technicians and to foster a spirit of craftsmanship in students. To inspire this aspiration for excellence among his students, he often says, “Don’t ever underestimate the heart of a champion.” All the students who have witnessed his outstanding skills agreed that, “Mr. Ma is very strict and precise about the requirements for technical operations. He has raised our awareness about what it takes to be outstanding professional technicians.”

Among the champion team members trained by Ma, some are now working in foreign or private enterprises, while others have become cadets in the Chinese Rocket Force. No matter where these students land they will form corner stone to any technical team, the backbone of any workforce.

“We need to take a developmental approach to student education, and focus on teaching them how to acquire new knowledge and solve new problems, because knowledge is infinite, and technologies keep evolving. It is only by being open and continuing to learn over time that the students can grow through experience into qualified technicians.” Ma added, “My personal goal is to try to have more and more students entering workforce able to contribute actively to technical innovation and ‘intelligent manufacturing in China’.”

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