I was invited recently by the Education Bureau of a T2 city in the East China region to deliver a presentation on the UK Modern Apprenticeship Scheme and its pilots in the region. I successfully completed one last September on the subject of Logistics, and another in 2017 on Mechanical Engineering.
There were around 170 representatives from various vocational schools and colleges in the city attending the talk and showing an interest in running the apprenticeship schemes. This was partly because the city has recently become one of the 17 to pilot the Modern Apprenticeship as listed by Ministry of Education, and partly because vocational schools and colleges have entered into fierce competition with each other. Parents have a higher expectation of those VET schools to provide employment opportunities for their children, more over than just a high standard of education.
Like many other cities in the region, this city, with a population of over 6 million people, has undergone a rate of double digit growth for a number of years. However, due to the recent economic transition and withdrawal of some foreign investment, the city had encountered a slowdown of economic growth, as well as the decreasing number of vocational students. The city is looking for new engines for growth as well as innovative ways to attract the investment to come back. The Modern Apprenticeship may have provided a solution for this!
Projects Manager, Education and Society (East China) Cultural and Education Section of the British Consulate-General