Recently, 363 workers from Guangdong Esquel Textile Co., Ltd. stepped onto the campus of the Open University of China (OUC)’s Guangzhou Branch and became beneficiaries of the OUC’s Assistance Plan, a new model of education and training.

The project was led by the implementing office of the Assistance Plan in Guangdong, with the OUC’s Guangzhou Branch caring for implementation and services. At present, two junior college degree specialties, including Business Management (Manufacturing and Operations Management) and Mechanical and Electrical Engineering and Management, were opened for the company's frontline management personnel. The employees admitted to this programme included mechanics, technicians, excellent workers, and some of the managers with lower academic education levels. The company created the motto “Esquel employees attend University with Esquel" for the employees, and pledged to fully cover the study costs. Esquel will cooperate with the OUC’s Guangzhou Branch over the next 3 years and plans to bring the educational degrees of the 3,000 employees up to junior college levels.

Aimed at the needs of an expanding business enterprise, the OUC’s Guangzhou Branch gathered renowned teachers in the production management field from colleges and universities, experts from the production and manufacturing industry, and the production and management personnel from within the company together and designed a production and operation management specialty that can meet the needs of the company. An exclusive teaching plan has been developed based on the production features of the company. A new style of learning services will send the education to their door, which means offering a one-stop educational service including consultation, major selection, admissions, learning, exams, and the awarding of certificates to the enterprises so as to build a new education model for workers, one in which they can enjoy mobile learning instead of leaving their work posts to attend classes on a full-time basis. This will reduce the human resource and materials costs for the company, while at the same time providing a more organized system of training and a better learning experience for the employees while still maintaining normal production activities within the company. Tailored to the specific working conditions and customized to suit the employees actual abilities, Guangzhou Branch specifically developed a major to improve the workplace capabilities of the grass-roots management personnel in the production and manufacturing business. The combination of degree education and enterprise post training is aimed at adapting to the needs of the specific job requirements and tailoring the learning experience to the production requirements, which will not only solve business training challenges, but also help with the transformation and upgrading of the company and improve the workers’ quality through training.

A representative of the new students named Xia Cuiqiong expressed in a statement her gratitude for the OUC’s Guangzhou Branch for giving her this brand new learning experience. Xia Cuiqiong is a front-line worker who is usually busy with work but who also desires to continue her education. Previously, she felt she had no opportunity. Now, the education offered by the university, delivered right to her door via mobile learning, has helped her to make full use of her spare time and utilize it to continue her studies. Additionally, tuition subsidies from the trade union and the company mean that she does not have to worry about high tuition fees, thus helping her to realize her college dream.

The 43 year old “new” student Deng Zijun recalled his original job search experience with deep emotion. In order to improve his life, he had been making use of his spare time to continually study and work to get ahead. After many years of struggling, he has become a middle-level manager. He is aware of the importance of always working on personal development. When he learned that he had an opportunity to continue with his education and that it would not require a full-time study schedule, he immediately signed up. He said, “This study programme can improve my cultural level and knowledge, and also widen my horizons, which will give me a big advantage in my future.” Because he is the oldest in this junior college degree programme class, he quipped, “Compared with the young people, I feel a lot of pressure. But pressure is a driving force. I will double my efforts to improve myself. ”

President of Guangzhou Radio and Television University, Gong Hongwu, Executive Director of Guangdong Esquel Textile Co. Ltd., Ma Weiping, persons in charge of the implementation office of Assistance Plan the OUC in Guangdong, and more than 300 student representatives from Esquel Group attended the opening ceremony.

By Guangzhou RTVU