GUANGZHOU, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- South China's Guangdong Province will add over 120,000 higher vocational degrees by 2021 to cultivate more skilled workers, according to a plan released Thursday.
Guangdong is one of China's manufacturing hubs, and demands for skilled workers have been on the rise as the province, and the country in general, is turning to high-tech factories in recent years.
The province has the second largest number of higher vocational colleges after the eastern province of Jiangsu, and awarded a total of 243,473 degrees in 2017, according to statistics from the Ministry of Education.
By 2021, universities in Guangdong will double the number of students enrolled in higher vocational schools compared with the level in 2018, according to the plan.
The plan also encourages vocational schools to recruit technical staff and high-quality laborers from enterprises to work part-time in the schools.
China released a vocational education reform plan on Feb. 13.
According to the plan, under a trial system set to be implemented from 2019, students at vocational colleges, as well as universities that mainly offer undergraduate programs in applied areas, will be awarded an academic certificate plus diplomas of vocational skills of various levels.
In five to ten years, operators of China's vocational education institutions, which are now mostly government-run, will be diversified and include more entities or personnel from non-government sectors, according to the plan.