Environmental technology in China
Vocational Education and Training Dialogue Forum in Qingdao
The second Vocational Education and Training Dialogue Forum to be staged by the Shanghai-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce produced unanimously agreed results and a commitment from Chinese officials to provide support. The German Office for International Vocational Education and Training Cooperation (GOVET) played an active role in the Forum, which was held in the Chinese metropolis of Qingdao on 6 November. The workshop took place within the context of the alliance between the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the Chinese Ministry of Education MOE and the Chinese Vocational Education and Training Institute CIVTE.
The second Vocational Education and Training Dialogue Forum to be staged by the Shanghai-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce took place in the former Olympic venue of Qingdao on 6 November 2013 and focused on the topics of "metal" and "environmental technology". Around 200 German and Chinese participants from trade and industry, the associations, other economic organisations and vocational schools met to discuss aspects of the regulation processes in these two occupational fields and their relevance for the region. Dr. Kress from GOVET gave a presentation on sustainable business management generally, paying particular attention to the challenges created by mega cities, water supply and waste management. She also explained the concept of "sustainability, environmental protection and health and safety at work", which is included in the skeleton curricula of all training occupations in Germany, and related the history of the technical environmental occupations. The subsequent workshop "Environmental protection knows no borders", which addressed opportunities of introducing such occupations into the Chinese VET system, was followed with interest by participants from both countries. An interactive approach was also adopted as complex issues were debated in mixed small groups before a plenary presentation was made to the workshop group.
Following a multimedia input phase, participants were divided up into groups of young adults/interns, environmental technology specialists, university staff and vocational school staff. In the groups, they developed possible answers to the questions previously posed. When presenting their group results, the participants came to the conclusion that, in the wake of a large number of environmental scandals, China displays a high degree of affinity with environmental topics in general and with food safety, water quality and waste separation in particular. All were in agreement that an analysis needed to be carried out into how regulations are currently structured in the relevant areas, who has been carrying out water and sewage works up until now and how these findings can act as a vehicle for the development of curricula which are capable of implementation under the general prevailing conditions in China or in the Chinese regions. At the same time, the criticism was levelled that the legal framework remains too unclear.
Reactions to the workshop were very positive due to the fact that the main emphasis was placed on the implementation of action and problem oriented measures. The objective of gaining knowledge of technical environmental occupations and their possible introduction in China or in the province was achieved. Wang Guangzheng, the Deputy Mayor of Qingdao, a city of 8 million inhabitants , gave an assurance that he would be willing to help with the establishment of an environmental cooperation centre.
Within the scope of the Forum, the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) was able to identify various opportunities to enter into cooperation agreements.