As part of the 2019 National Vocational Education Week, a job fair for winners of the National Vocational Students Skills Competition was held recently, attracting nearly 100 businesses to look for skilled candidates.
According to Zhang Yanyong, head of the HR department at the Tianjin CLP Huali Electric Technology Group, his company had been to a dozen job fairs, in the hope of finding 20 candidates specializing in the R&D of high and low voltage distribution cabinets. “We favor graduates of certain vocational colleges, who have the knowledge and skills we need and can start making a contribution rapidly after entering the company,” Zhang said.
The job fair also attracted a large number of aspiring vocational school graduates. Jia Lei, a student in electric automation technology at the Tianjin Light Industry Vocational Technical College came to the fair with a dozen copies of her resume in the hope of finding an internship. “There are many opportunities here. I quickly ran out of copies of my resume. Businesses are very interested in recruiting vocational college students,” she said.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, there is a huge skills gap in the job market in both coastal and less prosperous western provinces. Some businesses are having difficulty filling positions that require general and specialized technical skills, with the demand to supply ratio for skilled labor and high-level technicians growing to 1.5 and 2, respectively.
Cities that have invested heavily in modern vocational education in recent years stand to benefit from this high demand. In Tianjin, for instance, 97 percent of students from the Tianjin Sino-German University of Applied Sciences were employed upon graduation in 2018.