Since the early 1990s, China and Germany have successfully collaborated in the field of vocational training within the framework of bilateral and regional development cooperation. In this tradition and funded by the BMZ, the Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSS) is currently cooperating with several vocational training centers in China. This cooperation is changing – from a bilateral to a trilateral cooperation.
On one hand, this development is driven forward by progresses in the Chinese vocational training system, a clear internationalization strategy of the education sector, and the willingness of China to increase its international responsibility and to support less developed countries. On the other hand, it reflects the new type of development cooperation between China and Germany, which deals with the combination of Chinese and German resources for the global implementation of the Agenda 2030.
A foretaste of trilateral cooperation formats could be obtained from the 13th to 24th of August in the City of Pingdu, in Shandong Province on the east coast of China. 20 vocational school teachers and teacher trainers from Laos took part in two parallel pilot training courses conducted by Chinese professionals in the local vocational training center.
In Laos, the vocational training sector faces challenges of keeping pace with economic and social developments, providing impetus for value creation, and further promoting regional market integration. China has faced the same challenges a few years ago and has comparable job qualifications in rural areas such as Pingdu. Laos therefore expressed interest in learning from the Chinese experiences. Especially in Pingdu, there are extensive experiences in the training of rural professions in the field of production and processing of agricultural products and the training of teachers. However, the experience in training foreign participants is very rudimentary. This is where the German side comes into play.
The GIZ, funded by the BMZ, has been supporting the vocational training sector in Laos and China for 30 years. The region project “Promotion of Economic Cooperation in Asian sub-regional Initiatives” also supports exchange and cooperation between China and Laos. The HSS also looks back to nearly 30 years of cooperation with the Vocational Training Center in Pingdu, with practical and impressive successes. Together, HSS and GIZ have supported two pilot trainings on rural vocational training in a technical-methodological and logistical-financial manner.
At present, the experiences and participant feedback are being evaluated. In close coordination with all stakeholders and coordinated by the Sino-German Center for Sustainable Development, next steps will be taken – towards a trilateral cooperation project, which is in the benefit for China’s neighboring countries.