A bridge to a bright future for young talent
Illustration: Liu Xiangya/Global Times
More than 11.5 million students are expected to graduate from Chinese universities this year, an increase of more than 820,000 from 2022. Graduate students are expected to outnumber undergraduates in cities such as Beijing as more young people stay longer in college. I hope that with more qualifications, I will have a better future. However, according to the survey, the unemployment rate for young people aged 16 to 24 in July 2022, the graduation season, was a staggering 19.9%. Broadly speaking, there are three reasons why a degree doesn’t help you secure a decent job.
First, there is structural unemployment caused by the mismatch between supply and demand. A quiet danger looms here. There are too many unemployed graduates who have not been trained for the jobs out there, and too many graduates who have been trained for jobs that may disappear without developing more valuable skills. Meanwhile, new graduates face a tough job market and fierce competition. On the one hand, the shortage of highly skilled and qualified personnel means that it is difficult for employers to fill vacancies, especially those requiring a technical nature or experience.
Second, there is a contradiction between a student’s degree and work experience. One classic example is found in graduates who majored in business-related fields such as marketing or public relations, but who usually quickly apply their theoretical knowledge expertise to their jobs for tangible rewards to employers. cannot bring about. Rather, employees with first-hand knowledge accumulated through experience are preferred.
Third, there is a persistent prejudice against blue-collar jobs among frustrated graduates who are reluctant to do menial or manual labor that they consider below them. They ridicule themselves on social media by saying that having multiple degrees makes them overqualified and impossible to employ.
We all have a responsibility to help young people better adapt to the fast-changing world of work. As policymakers, we must make it our national mission to build a skills economy that connects the new generation to all the opportunities and ambitions of the future. As educators, we need to think beyond degrees and certificates, pay more attention to skill development than content knowledge, and prepare our youth for the coming skills revolution. Instead of asking, “What do you want to do?” we should ask, “Who do you want to be?”
As employers, we need to rethink how we hire, retrain and continually reorganize our workforce. In addition, stronger collaboration between governments, universities and industry will facilitate the transition and build bridges.
A bridge to communication and exchange
There is a great need for government-initiated national-level platforms where representatives of universities and industry can come together and exchange ideas and opinions. They can give feedback to policy makers, while governments can tap into the world of instant information and with insight and vision update guidelines in line with the country’s key national strategies, helping universities, including: and the institutional framework for cooperation between companies can be optimized at all times. Guiding Principles, Forms, Facilitators, Supervision. Thus, through dialogue and collaboration, universities will prepare students for career success and build a strategic talent pool for the country.
A typical example is the establishment of China’s first carbon economy master’s program by the Department of Applied Economics, Renmin University of China. Approved by the Ministry of Education (MOE) in 2022 to contribute to the country’s “dual carbon” strategy and to address global climate change. In addition, the Ministry of the Environment recently announced that a total of 14,546 cooperation projects to support employment were established between 794 enterprises and 1,861 institutions of higher education with direct funding of 1.48 billion yuan ($212.6 million). announced that it had reached
Bridge to training and retraining
Training is key to equipping students with problem-solving skills and adaptability to the workplace. Retraining helps keep employees up-to-date and flexible. The Skills Economy demands an agile and skilled workforce that continues to learn, train and upgrade to meet the demands of a changing world. Therefore, it is important for us to build a pipeline of talented people who can be trained and retrained throughout their lives so that they can thrive in times of great economic, social and technological change.
A bridge to lifelong learning
Individuals need to develop lifelong learning competencies and habits to adapt to a rapidly changing world and personalized learning services. National platforms like China’s Smart Education serve as lifelong learning tools, but there is still much work to be done.
Singapore is a case in point, transforming the country’s education sector and labor market by pivoting to lifelong learning through a billion-dollar initiative called Skills Future. The initiative supports Singaporeans through all life stages, from kindergarten onwards, enabling individuals, employers and educators to foster and pursue skill upskilling and career mobility. Among other things, Skills Future will provide an online education and career guidance portal for all students, allocating $500 in training credits to all career professionals aged 25 and over to be replenished regularly, and Singapore for those aged 40 and over. subsidize at least 90 percent of course costs. of age. Singapore’s attempt could enlighten our design, stating that “employees, employers and governments can donate to Lifelong Learning Funds to fund reskilling programs as a means of funding retirement. Can you do it?” you might ask.
Education, science and technology, and human resources are the basic and strategic pillars of modern socialist nation-building in all respects, and human resources should be regarded as the most important resource. If we fail to create jobs that promote social progress just by completing our education, and if many college graduates are frustrated because they cannot find decent jobs, it is our society. It means that there is a problem with the overall planning of As stakeholders, our governments, universities and industries are desperately needed to form a coalition to explore, assess and pave the way for a prosperous future for the next generation.
The author is a faculty member of the Department of Applied Economics, Renmin University of China.