Grad­u­ates ready for the work­place

Stu­dents from vo­ca­tional col­leges are ‘fa­vored by many en­ter­prises’

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - NATION - By FAN FEIFEI fan­feifei@chi­

Zhang Wei­jian, 22, grad­u­ated from vo­ca­tional col­lege in Jilin prov­ince last year.

He was at a job fair in Bei­jing in Au­gust but this did not cause him too many con­cerns. When it comes to get­ting work, Zhang is con­fi­dent.

“Af­ter I grad­u­ated last year, I worked as a ware­house keeper in a su­per­mar­ket. The salary is 3,000 yuan ($490) each month. It was OK,” Zhang said.

“Our col­lege has col­lab­o­rated with many en­ter­prises, and it pro­vides a lot of in­tern­ship op­por­tu­ni­ties. Find­ing work is not dif­fi­cult, not least be­cause we have good com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills.’’

Zhang be­lieves he is as well off as any col­lege grad­u­ate. “We have stronger com­mu­ni­ca­tion abil­i­ties com­pared with univer­sity grad­u­ates. I think we are more prag­matic and cool­headed and have the right at­ti­tude when look­ing for work.”

There are about 7 mil­lion grad­u­ates look­ing for work this year, the high­est num­ber ever.

Em­ploy­ers are tak­ing a num­ber of fac­tors into ac­count, not just exam re­sults, Zhang said.

Vicky Lu, deputy man­ager of the ho­tel mem­ber­ship card cen­ter in the Hil­ton Bei­jing Wang­fu­jing echoed this view.

“We hire stu­dents from vo­ca­tional col­leges”, she said. “As a salesperson it is vi­tal that they have good com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills and the abil­ity to deal with prob­lems. We treat ev­ery­one the same, whether they come from univer­sity or vo­ca­tional col­leges. The salary is the same.’’

She ad­mits to a slight bias for vo­ca­tional grad­u­ates be­cause they are more mod­est and harder work­ing, she said.

Stu­dents from vo­ca­tional schools have a 90.4 per­cent em­ploy­ment rate within six months of grad­u­a­tion and 56 per­cent get pro­moted within three years, ac­cord­ing to an an­nual re­port of job place­ments. This fig­ure is slightly higher than the 52 per­cent for col­lege grad­u­ates.

The re­port pointed out that more than 630 higher vo­ca­tional col­leges are lo­cated in pre­fec­ture-level cities or be­low. This ac­counts for al­most half of the 1,297 vo­ca­tional col­leges.

The re­port was con­ducted by the Shang­hai Acad­emy of Ed­u­ca­tional Sciences and My­Cos, an in­de­pen­dent re­search in­sti­tute, which is com­mis­sioned by the National Higher Vo­ca­tional Prin­ci­pals Meet­ing, an NGO sup­ported by the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion.

It is the prac­ti­cal ap­proach of vo­ca­tional col­leges that seem to bol­ster their suc­cess, said Liu Hong with the Cen­tral Re­search In­sti­tute for Vo­ca­tional and Tech­ni­cal Ed­u­ca­tion at the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion.

“Vo­ca­tional col­leges have a clear ob­jec­tive and stick to an ap­pli­ca­tion-ori­ented strat­egy, so th­ese stu­dents are fa­vored by many en­ter­prises.”

Ma Yan, an ex­pert from My­Cos, said there is closer co­op­er­a­tion be­tween higher vo­ca­tional col­lege and en­ter­prises.

“The job ex­pec­ta­tions for th­ese stu­dents are a lit­tle bit lower and they are will­ing to do work at a low start­ing point,” Ma said.

Liu said it is not un­usual for the de­liv­ery courier, brick­layer or fit­ter to earn more than the or­di­nary white col­lar worker. Some peo­ple even choose to study a trade skill af­ter at­tain­ing a col­lege ed­u­ca­tion.

There are prej­u­dices in so­ci­ety re­gard­ing ed­u­ca­tion but peo­ple must be en­cour­aged to do what they want to do, Liu said.

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