BN Vocational School
後來，他的一位也已經住在北京的農村夥伴向他推薦了百年職校(BN Vocational School)，這是中國第一所免學費公益職業中專。
BN Vocational School在北京的百年職校，學生們在學習給西式蛋糕抹奶油。
像百年職校這樣的私立機構可以填補這一空白，但只有在外部 資金的幫助下才能為貧困生提供免費培訓。百年職校建校於2005年，資助單位包括慈善機構（中國青少年發展基金會和福特基金會[Ford Foundation]）、企業（花旗銀行[Citigroup]、沃爾瑪[Wal-Mart]、卡特彼勒[Caterpillar]和美國銀行 [Bank of America]）以及中外政府。百年職校還在其他七個中國城市設有分校。
Trade Schools Offer Hope for Rural Migrants in China
June 14, 2013
BEIJING — When he was 14, Li Yangyang’s prospects were grim. A middle school graduate who moved to Beijing with his parents from the countryside in 2009, he worked long hours in a restaurant for less than 700 renminbi a month.
Then a fellow rural migrant, who had also moved to Beijing, introduced him to BN Vocational School, China’s first tuition-free, nonprofit vocational secondary school.
Now 17, Mr. Li is studying hotel management and hoping to enter an industry in which the starting salary is more than triple his old wage of about $100 a month. “I feel lucky to be at B.N.V.S.,” he said, as he prepared to apply for internships at the capital’s luxury hotels. “My future is much brighter, and I have more opportunities because of it.”
For those like Mr. Li, the children of China’s 200 million migrant laborers, vocational schools offer the promise of better-paying, more stable work than their parents had.
Courses cover a wide range of subjects, often depending on the needs of the region. In Liaoning Province, an industrial area in the north, automobile repair and construction are popular. In cities, students opt for tourism and customer service; the niche skill of air-conditioning installation and upkeep is in particular demand.
While China has long had state-run vocational schools, critics say that they are bogged down by bureaucracy and overwhelmed by the huge number of youths who need training.
Private enterprises like BN Vocational School can fill that gap, but only with the outside funding needed to be able to train poor students for free. Founded in 2005, it is supported by charities (the China Youth Development Foundation and Ford Foundation), corporations (Citigroup, Wal-Mart, Caterpillar and Bank of America) and both the Chinese and foreign governments. It also runs schools in seven other Chinese cities.
While newly minted university graduates face a tight job market, skilled vocational school graduates are in high demand, with employment rates above 95 percent between 2007 and 2011, according to a 2013 report by the Chinese Society of Vocational and Technical Education.
China’s labor force is huge, with more than 75 percent of the country’s population between the ages of 20 and 49, but the average worker’s education level is relatively low. According to the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, only half of China’s 140 million urban employees can be classified as “skilled.”
About one-third of domestically produced products cannot pass quality-control tests because workers are not qualified enough to operate the machinery, resulting in a loss of 200 billion renminbi a year, according to a 2012 report by Yan Hao, a recently retired senior research fellow at the National Development and Reform Commission.
Most of the Chinese population is at the prime of their working lives; but this so-called “demographic dividend” is set to end, according to economists. China’s labor force is predicted to peak at 751 million in 2015 — and age and decline from there. There will not be as many young workers to replace those retiring out of the market.
“The government will need to get greater productivity gains out of a smaller work force to continue to grow the economy,” according to Xiaoyan Liang, a senior education specialist at the World Bank. As China transitions to a more skill-based economy, investing in technical and vocational education training can help bridge this gap.
One of the biggest challenges to vocational education is the traditional Chinese bias in favor of a university degree, Dr. Yan said.
“Parents would prefer to send their children to university because there is higher social status associated with attending college,” Dr. Yan said. “But because so many college graduates end up at a job that is no different in wage level from the vocational school grads, this attitude is gradually changing.”
“There is a lot of pressure on the government to help new graduates find jobs, and so they are trying to persuade young people, particularly those who failed the college entry examination or cannot afford college tuition fees, to attend vocational school and graduate with a guaranteed job,” Dr. Yan added.
According to Dr. Yan, the government began overhauling curriculums to provide targeted employment-oriented training to meet local market demands. But the reality is that many state-run vocational schools do not work closely enough with local industry, generating mismatches in the labor market.
“In the 1980s, vocational schools were funded and organized by various industries, so supply matched demand in the marketplace,” said Megan Zeng, principal at the BN Vocational School campus in Beijing, speaking of state-run schools. Under the old model, industries “knew what they wanted, knew what was needed in the marketplace” and trained students accordingly.
“Now, however, schools are under the control of the regional education agency, so they are less specialized,” she said, adding that those working in industry were not usually involved in designing curriculums.
Many schools are also not addressing the critical issue of teacher qualification. While instructors are required to have a bachelor’s degree, many do not have industry experience — something the government is working to change.
Private schools are also addressing these challenges. At the BN Vocational School, “there is a full-time team on each of our eight campuses that works with employers to ensure that the skills our students learn — and the majors we offer — are in high demand in the local market,” said Xu Sheng, the sponsorship manager at the Beijing campus.
“B.N.V.S. is more flexible because of its small size,” Ms. Zeng said. “State-run schools naturally have more bureaucracy, so it will take time to change the curriculum to adapt to current market conditions.”
“The Chinese government is very supportive and aware of the need for programs that are relevant so students will have the right skills for China’s economy,” Ms. Liang of the World Bank said.
The government is implementing numerous measures to adapt vocational training, which has changed with the times as services replace manufacturing as the country’s engine of growth.
A decade ago, Mr. Li would not have been able to major in hotel management; but today, it is an offering at more schools, along with tourism, Web production and graphic design.
The BN Vocational School’s founder, Yao Li, hopes that its updated curriculum will help students who might otherwise have been left out of China’s economic miracle feel “hopeful about their lives and futures.”