China creates evaluation system to level up skilled workers

The nation will standardize technical professions by improving the evaluation system and skills assessment, with workers' ethics and the spirit of craftsmanship will be included in the evaluation.


Students from a vocational school display their skills roasting tea leaves by hand at a fair in Haikou, Hainan province, on Friday. SU BIKUN/FOR CHINA DAILY

May 18, 2022

BEIJING – The central government has said it will fully implement a new assessment and evaluation system for skilled workers, with the aim of producing more skilled talent in a scientific and effective way and securing the group a fairer working environment by improving its sense of honor and achievement.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security recently released a guideline, clarifying that the employers of skilled workers and officially authorized social training organizations can provide assessment and evaluation to those who have the abilities and desire promotion.

The guideline has set up a new professional title system with eight technical titles, under which skilled workers can rise up from being a basic apprentice to the highest level of chief skilled worker.

The nation will standardize technical professions by improving the evaluation system and skills assessment, according to the guideline, and workers’ ethics and the spirit of craftsmanship will be included in their comprehensive evaluation.

In the 1950s, the nation planned an assessment system for skilled workers with eight professional grades. The system was later simplified to five levels in the 1990s, said Fan Wei, a researcher from the Chinese Academy of Personnel Science.

According to Fan, the evaluation system for skilled workers has changed over the past few decades.

“In 2017, the nation released State-level content for officially recognized professions, which reduced technical professions from 399 to 81. The release raised the threshold for some professions while breeding some illegal behaviors like selling fake certifications.”

Fan said that to regulate the evaluation system for skilled workers, the human resources ministry launched a guideline focusing on system reform in August 2019.

Progressive steps have been in place since 2020 to build up a scientific and ability-driven system to evaluate skilled workers and facilitate their job promotions.

Skilled workers, however, are still in short supply due to social prejudices and an unsound evaluation system. Figures from the ministry show that, by the end of 2020, there were over 200 million skilled workers in China.

Liu Kang, director of the capability promotion department of the human resources ministry, said in a recent interview with People’s Daily that it’s necessary to create a friendly environment to attract more people to become skilled workers.

Liu said that the new assessment system aims to optimize the working environment of the group by creating a smooth promotion channel and increasing their salaries in accordance with the evaluation results.

Chen Lixiang, vice-chairman for the Chinese Society for Technical and Vocational Education, said it takes time to establish a uniform evaluation system for skilled workers, which is not only based on current technical development, but also the educational background and personnel system of the workers.

The emergence of digital technologies has meant there are higher requirements in terms of skills.

He said the newly released eight-level evaluation system will allow the skills of workers to adapt to the nation’s needs, and in turn lead to more knowledge and innovation.

Chen added that if a worker serves a post for a long time without any promotions, he or she may lose passion for the job. The new evaluation system will give skilled workers more opportunities for job promotion and increases in their salaries.

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