Dual education offers win-win solution

Updated: 2013-04-30 23:49

By CHEN XIN and CHENG YINGQI (China Daily)

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Xu Lijie spent an hour dismantling and reinstalling a washing machine at a training center in Nanjing, an operation he must complete within 50 minutes before he can graduate and obtain a technical certificate recognized by European manufacturing enterprises.

Xu, 21, is a third-grade student at Nanjing Technical Vocational College in Jiangsu province. Along with 134 other students he attends a German dual-education program set up by the college and the Nanjing plant of Bosch and Siemens where the students will work after a three-year program that emphasizes theoretical study in the classroom and shop floor technical training. "Precision and patience are the most important lessons I have learned from the program," he said.

The Nanjing plant and Xu's college set up the apprenticeship program in 2006 and it has provided 150 workers for BSH, said Yang Shengchun director of the training center at BSH Electrical Appliances Jiangsu Co.

"There is a shortage of high-quality workers in the Chinese labor market who can manage the technology of producing, maintaining and repairing our products," he said. "Trainees can be directly employed and they tend to be more loyal."

Graduates can obtain a technical certificate if they pass two exams that are designed for German dual system trainees, Yang said.

The German Chamber of Commerce in China issues the certificate and all European manufacturers investing in China recognize it, he said.

"The dual education system has proved successful in training technicians, and German enterprises want to set up coaching centers in China and train workers themselves," said Yang.

Liu Junxia, a division chief overseeing dual education at Nanjing Technical Vocational College, said all teaching materials her students use are the same as those used by students in Germany and all teachers involved in the program at her school had been trained in Germany.

Compared with students who participate in the program, ordinary vocational students have less hands-on technical experience, she said.

Students who join the dual program sign a deal with BSH, promising to work there for four years, according to Liu.

Zhang Yu worked as a product tester at BSH after she graduated from Liu's school in 2010. Initially, she had to test of electric irons before being promoted to assistant to a division manager last year.

"We receive more theoretical training and accumulate more technical experience than ordinary students do," said 23-year-old Zhang. "Some of my classmates have been transferred to the research and development sector."

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