Mayor Advocates Vocational Education Overhaul, Encourages Oversea Training
When attending the “Vocational Education Silicon Valley—2017 Expo for Oversea Entrepreneurial Training” event on January 8, Mayor Ko Wen-je promised more budget for vocational school students to engage in oversea internship and training programs.
According to Ko, the city government has been conducting oversea internship and training programs for high school and occupational school students covering 15 disciplines since the 2013 school year. The initiative aims at helping students expand their horizons while advancing Taiwan’s occupational education and spurring entrepreneurship.
Destinations of these oversea study trips include foreign companies and institutions such as Atlas Air, NASA, Facebook headquarters, Apple headquarters, Google, and Siemens; participants also have the opportunity to experience cooking courses in Spain and take part in commercial design projects for agricultural products in Japan. Six more trips are planned in 2018 with destinations in Thailand, Singapore, and Japan, targeting skill exchange in the fields of refrigeration and air conditioning, trade and finance, food processing, among others.
Citing an anecdote from his visit to Stanford University in California, Ko noted that the prestigious school told him that courses at the institution are tailor-made for industry needs. He believes curricular adjustments are required for the island’s occupational schools to adapt to the changing needs in the job market.
With the central government set to allocate NT$8 billion into a four-year campaign to improve vocational education, the mayor reckoned that the City will follow suit by implementing policies to bridge the gap between education and industry needs.