UNIDO ITPO Beijing and Tencent Group jointly launch vocational education program in Hebei

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The Fourth Industrial Revolution Promotes Industry Support and Rural Revitalization training program aims to empower youth and small businesses with employment skills

SHIJIAZHUANG, China, May 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — UNIDO ITPO Beijing and Tencent Group jointly held its first session of the Fourth Industrial Revolution Promotes Industry Support and Rural Revitalization empowerment training program, in partnership with the China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the government of Lingshou County, Hebei province, from May 14 to May 15, 2021. Over 500 local entrepreneurs and young adults living in surrounding rural areas who are just entering the workforce attended the training session.

By bringing together resources provided by Tencent Group’s WeChat messaging app, their Tencent Classroom online education platform and their Smart Retail solutions package for small businesses, the vocational education-centered training session taught students how to leverage the new technologies that have been the drivers of Industry 4.0, including Virtual Rreality (VR), social networks, online classrooms and smart retail, among other innovative training tools and methods. The training aimed to empower individuals just entering the workforce on how to seek and secure employment as well as assisting owners and executives of MSMEs to update their skillsets so they can better market their products and services in the current environment. In addition, the training also showed students how they can better support the development of local industries and promote rural revitalization, in the context of dealing with the risks and challenges brought about by the digital divide and COVID-19.  

The first session of the Fourth Industrial Revolution Promotes Industry Support and Rural Revitalization empowerment training program jointly organized by UNIDO ITPO Beijing and Tencent Group in Lingshou County, Hebei
The first session of the Fourth Industrial Revolution Promotes Industry Support and Rural Revitalization empowerment training program jointly organized by UNIDO ITPO Beijing and Tencent Group in Lingshou County, Hebei

During the session, Tencent Classroom instructors and Hubei Nongfu E-commerce’s training manager conducted on-site and online courses on how to improve employment skills as well as how to use WeChat Channels to generate sales from live streaming events.

Wang Miao, one of the lecturers, related how she was diagnosed with brittle bone disease (Osteogenesis Imperfecta) at a young age and yet was still able to overcome the limitations that the illness imposed. Through Tencent Classroom’s knitting course, she was able to pick up basic knitting skills and went on to innovate and create works that won awards at several leading Chinese craft exhibitions. She even applied for inclusion of her works in the county’s intangible cultural heritage list. During the training session, she led a lecture on knitting skills while sharing her experience on how she battled the disease and succeeded in overcoming the odds. The lecture was also live streamed on the Tencent Classroom platform.

Zhu Na, an entrepreneur who attended the session, said, "Much like me, a lot of housewives and unemployed women have neither time nor to take advantage of investment opportunities. However, WeChat Channels opened the door to a better future for us." In our increasingly connected world, having a WeChat account, and especially WeChat Channels, provides the younger generation living in rural areas who are reaching the working age an opportunity to start their own businesses and expand their horizons.

The Digital Employment, New Careers and New Positions Report, released in April 2021 by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), demonstrated how the WeChat ecosystem encompassing Official Accounts, Mini Programs, WeChat Channels, WeChat Pay and WeCom indirectly created 36.84 million jobs in 2020, an increase of 24.4% from the prior year. The ecosystem’s digital capabilities enabled new career paths and generated a slew of new roles and positions, boosting the growth of the central and western parts of the country by removing barriers to employment. Today, the lower-tier cities in the region are benefiting from exciting opportunities for job seekers and entrepreneurs.

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