Electronics industry boosts student workers in China

13 January 2016

A group of socially responsible electronics companies and Stanford University have teamed up to improve the prospects of young workers in China’s supply chain.

A non-profit coalition of leading electronics companies dedicated to supply chain responsibility claims a pilot programme to help student workers in China has improved vocational skills by 55%, maths skills by 34% and reduced school dropout by 15%.

The Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) and Stanford University’s Rural Education Action Program (REAP) created a system to award credentials to schools training future workers for China’s IT industry.

The EICC said there was a significant labour shortage in China and many suppliers to the electronics industry were addressing this by using student workers participating in vocational schools’ education and training courses.

As the quality of these schemes varied greatly, EICC and REAP set up a system in the heavily populated Henan province to measure the quality of schools partnering with suppliers to the electronics industry, and to award credentials according to strict set of criteria. The programme has resulted in dramatic improvements.

The EICC said that establishing systematic monitoring and accountability meant vocational schools have more incentive to provide quality education and safe and productive work experiences.

As a consequence, students and employers would know which schools provided the best education.

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