|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (GZAR) is one of the 12 less-developed provinces and autonomous regions in the western part of the People's Republic of China (PRC). Baise Municipality is one of the 18 national poverty areas of the PRC, with 10 of its 12 counties registered as national poverty alleviation counties. Seven ethnic minority groups make up 80% of the population of Baise municipality. The municipality is the largest prefecture in Guangxi. Most of the terrain (95.4%) of Baise is mountainous making social and economic development difficult to achieve.
During the Eleventh Five-Year Plan, Baise became a new economic growth pole with its four base industries: aluminum processing, agriculture, tourism, and regional trade and logistics center. Located close to the border with Vietnam, Baise is an important gateway to countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). Increased investment has led to year on year growth of 25.2% but despite the economic growth and Baise's role in regional cooperation, future development is constrained by lack of a skilled workforce at all levels. Baise Municipal Government (BMG) currently projects a shortage of more than 80,000 employees particularly in the base industries.
To address the skills shortage, Baise's Twelfth Five-Year Plan has identified human resources development as one of the key areas for improvement. The plan focuses on development of a multilevel technical vocational education system, which links the resources and capabilities of university, and higher, secondary, and short-term migrant technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions to improve quality, extend access, and ensure that a multilevel pool of talent is created. The plan also highlights developing human resources that will not be constrained by entry level or low skilled work prospects. This will be achieved through improved partnerships with industries, development of internationally and nationally recognized certification programs, and a multilevel TVET educational system, which will provide students with clear pathways into the workforce. These objectives are in line with national strategies. The development of TVET is one of the priorities under the government's Twelfth Five-Year Plan, and the National Long-term Strategy on Education (2010 2020) aiming for greater education investment identifies TVET development as one of the top 10 priorities, and sets out TVET targets/objectives to be achieved by 2020.
Baise University is a full-time undergraduate institution that also offers vocational education. It currently has two campuses, and sponsors the Baise Vocational School (BVS), which is the designated vocational training institute for the Baise Human Resources and Social Security, and Baise Finance Bureau. BVS runs a secondary vocational education program in seven majors and short-term training programs for migrant workers. The proposed project seeks to develop a multilevel TVET system among these institutions to improve quality, access, and responsiveness to industry and social development needs.