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Over half surveyed say skilled workers undervalued in society

Ecns.cn | Updated: 2017-05-16 14:12

(ECNS) -- More than 55 percent of respondents in a survey say skilled workers have a low level of social recognition in China and face other career challenges, China Youth Daily reported.

About 52 percent said opportunities for career advancement were limited for skilled workers. Other barriers identified in the survey included low salaries (40.8 percent), a lack of comprehensive skills and abilities (35.2 percent), and work stress (28.6 percent).

The survey, which canvassed 2,015 people, also found that 60.4 percent thought skilled workers had enjoyed an elevated social status in recent years.

Zhang Jun, a sophomore at a vocational technical institute, said he felt skilled workers were getting more respect due to policy support and awareness efforts.

In the survey, 53 percent said graduates from vocational technical institutes could be competitive in the job market because of their proficiency in particular fields.

About 48 percent said they would encourage their children or relatives to become skilled workers at a senior level, while 23.1 percent said they would not.

Huang Yong (alias), a benchwork teacher at a vocational school in East China's Shandong Province, said most students were middle school graduates from rural areas who chose the major because of their parents. He also said about one third of students gave up their major to work in other fields.

Zhao Zhiqun, the director of the Institute of Vocation and Adult Education at Beijing Normal University, said the job market for skilled workers needs structural reform. He called for employers to improve salary packages for skilled workers and better appreciate their value. He also suggested that schools enhance education to ensure that graduates are well prepared for the job market.

China is carrying out its manufacturing improvement campaign, or "Made in China 2025", to enhance the quality of economic growth, and workers with expertise are urgently needed.

In a meeting late last year, Vice Premier Ma Kai called for higher salaries and social status for skilled workers, and asked for society to pay more attention to their development.

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