|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
The People's Republic of China (PRC) assigns high priority to vocational training as a principal measure to (i) improve skills of workforce, (ii) promote equal opportunity for quality employment, (iii) enhance innovation capacity and competitiveness of enterprises, and (iv) accelerate structural shifts in the economy and the process of industrialization and urbanization. The PRC Government has been playing an active role in improving the vocational training system to respond to diversified needs. In order to encourage all working-age population to receive vocational training, the government provides subsidies for vocational training institutions and trainees. These subsidies have been combined with measures to improve quality and effectiveness of vocational training such as, strengthening quality assurance mechanisms for vocational training institutions, occupational skills assessment and certification system, and public employment services. Allocation of vocational training subsidies has been linked to the results of quality assessment of training institutions, and skills certification or employment of trainees.
In order to enhance equity, effectiveness, and efficiency of vocational training and subsidies provided for it, the PRC Government requires the provincial and municipal governments to establish a unified information management platform for vocational training which is integrated with labor and social security information systems within the framework of the national Golden Social Security Project. The unified information management platform for vocational training would be designed to improve transparency and efficiency of allocation and use of vocational training subsidies by allowing dynamic management of vocational training institutions and training courses, real-name management of trainees to prevent multiple allocation of subsidies to the same trainees, and improved planning of vocational training responding to the needs of local economy and enterprises.
The Chongqing Municipal Government (CMG) vocational training subsidies are targeted at the following four categories of people: the unemployed, migrant workers, university and college graduates, and junior and senior secondary graduates who failed to gain higher education. There are currently 56 technical schools directly supervised by the Bureau of Human Resources and Social Security (BHRSS), in addition to a number of private vocational training institutions, and 113 public employment and human resource service centers in Chongqing. In 2011, 0.17 million and 0.85 million people benefited from vocational training offered by public technical schools and private institutions respectively, which increased to 0.19 million and 1.13 million, respectively, in 2012. The procedures for application, approval, transfer, and management of vocational training subsidies vary across districts and counties, and the allocation and use of vocational training subsidies have been far from transparent and efficient. Currently, there is no means to verify and ensure whether vocational training subsidies reached the targeted population.
Within the framework of the Golden Social Security Project, the CMG plans to develop a unified information management platform for vocational training designed to enhance equity, efficiency, and effectiveness of vocational training and subsidies. It has successfully completed Phase I of the Project in 2012, with the establishment of social security card system. The purpose of the proposed TA is (i) to support the development of a unified information management platform for vocational training which will be integrated with the existing social security card system, occupational skills assessment and certification system, and job placement system; and (ii) to generate knowledge useful for other provinces and municipalities.
The TA will support the PRC Government's goal of improving livelihood through development of employment-oriented skills and promotion of equal opportunities for quality employment by enhancing equity, efficiency, and effectiveness of vocational training and related subsidies. The TA is consistent with ADB's PRC country partnership strategy, 2011-2015, one of its pillars being inclusive growth, as it supports expanding livelihood opportunities for the poor. The TA will strengthen the knowledge base for ongoing and upcoming technical and vocational education and training projects, and related components of urban development projects, if any, by sharing good practices of vocational training planning, management and financing, quality assurance, skills assessment and certification, and linkage to public employment services.