Chinese Premier Li Keqiang meets with workers who participated in this year's WorldSkills Competition in October and won the most medals and points among 68 countries and regions, in Beijing, capital of China, Nov. 21, 2017. Li Keqiang highlighted the importance of skilled workers and craftsmanship for China to realize quality development. (Xinhua/Yao Dawei)
BEIJING, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has highlighted the importance of skilled workers and craftsmanship for China to realize quality development.
Li made the remarks during a meeting Tuesday with workers who participated in this year's WorldSkills Competition in October and won the most medals and points among 68 countries and regions.
Young skilled workers are "irreplaceable" in pushing manufacturing and service sectors to a higher level and in realizing quality economic development, Li said.
With an average age of less than 21 years, the 52 Chinese participants won 15 gold, seven silver and eight bronze medals.
For the Chinese economy to move toward the medium-high end, workers must first master more sophisticated vocational skills, Li said.
The premier asked workers around the country to perfect their skills to "make extraordinary achievements in ordinary posts."
"It will be good for Chinese brands entering the global arena if youngsters are keen to become craftsmen and pursue excellence," Li said.
Craftsmanship should be reflected in every product and every procedure, and should become "a pillar for building a strong manufacturing nation," he added.
At present, there are 165 million skilled workers in China, but they cannot meet the needs of economic development.
Li said China should deepen reform, improve policy and increase input to build a skilled workforce and solve problems including low pay and narrow career prospects.
Shanghai will host the competition in 2021.