Skills contest tests workers

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-07-03 08:06

World skilled workers competed in contests at China's first international skill competition in Shanghai last month, with 21 different skills from industrial milling to hairdressing on show. A total of 227 skilled workers aged under 22 from 35 countries and regions attended the competition.

China organized the event in preparation for Shanghai's scheduled hosting of the 46th WorldSkills Competition in 2021.

Winners of the China competition are eligible to enter this year's WorldSkills Competition to be held in October in Abu Dhabi.

Zheng Tong, head of the expert panel for the mobile robot control skill competition group, said contestants needed to control robots putting medicine on shelves, which required knowledge of mechanical structure, automation control and computer programming.

Machinery control, auto repair, milling, welding and network wiring, hairdressing, beauty parlor and restaurant service skills were among the competition programs.

Ji Zhenglong, a member of a hairdressing expert team, said contestants were only given 15 minutes to create a hairstyle.

"Hairdressers are skilled artisans. The work requires skill and aesthetic abilities," he said.

Simon Bartley, president of WorldSkills International, said that the competition demonstrated to parents, teachers, educators and employers that there was "real value in technique skills".

"Countries and regions that only rely on university education cannot thrive in today's global economy ... Hosting the competition really makes sure young people have a real opportunity to make the best decision they can about their future," Bartley said.

Zhang Zhikun, 22, winner of the digital-controlled milling competition at the 43rd WorldSkills Competition in 2015, said he was lucky that his parents did not give up on him, when he failed to go to senior high school as they anticipated.

Zhang, from Guangdong, chose to go to an advanced mechanical skill school after finishing junior high school.

He won the championship in Brazil by operating milling devices to process precision machine parts with an error rate under 0.04 millimeters.

"Senior skilled workers account for 40 percent of all industrial workers in Japan and 50 percent in Germany, but the ratio is only 5 percent in China," said Li Shouzhen, an official with the All-China Federation of Trade Unions.

"In industry, a sound talent structure should be made of one scientist, 10 technicians and 100 skilled workers," said Chen Yu of the China Association of Employment Promotion.

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