On May 17, 2023, Chongqing Light Industry School held the launch ceremony for the Chongqing Industrial Design Vocational Education Group’s bid to become a national exemplary vocational education group. This event signifies the group’s renewed commitment to innovative development.

On January 19, 2022, the Chongqing Municipal General Office of the People’s Government printed and issued the Action Plan of Chongqing for Building a City of Design, which clarifies the overall goal of joining the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) as a City of Design by 2025. Based on the plan, the Chongqing Industrial Design Vocational Education Group has been strengthening its collaboration with industry partners, deepening the integration of production and education, and driving reforms in high-quality, skill-based talent development models, to effectively empower industrial growth through design.

The Chongqing Industrial Design Vocational Education Group is closely following the pace of reform and development in modern vocational education. Leveraging the support of increased investment in vocational education by the national government, the group is striving to become a national exemplary vocational education consortium. It aims to build a distinctive brand for industrial vocational education in Chongqing, thereby contributing to the city’s vision of becoming a “highland of vocational education and a cradle of skilled workers in the nation”.

Create a new paradigm for vocational education groups

It is essential for the modern high-quality vocational education to implement a consortium-based approach to vocational education.

As the only public national key vocational school focusing on the light industry in Chongqing, Chongqing Light Industry School has always upheld the spirit of “speaking the truth, doing practical things, and seeking tangible results”. It shares a common fate with the industrial design industry and local economic development, making a strong rise in the field of vocational education.

In 2021, under the guidance of the Chongqing Municipal Economy and Information Technology Commission, Chongqing Light Industry School took the lead in establishing the Chongqing Industrial Design Vocational Education Group. Based on the principles of equality, voluntariness, mutual benefit, and win-win cooperation, 80 units including vocational schools specializing in industrial design, industrial enterprises, research institutes, and social organizations, established a non-profit unified body of industrial design vocational education to promote the institutionalization of vocational education groups.

The Chongqing Industrial Design Vocational Education Group aims to serve the development of the industrial design industry, with major construction as its foundation, talent cultivation as its core, integration of industry and education as its bond, and school-enterprise cooperation as its focal point. Through the establishment of sound mechanisms for group operation and the construction of platforms such as industrial colleges, it strives to achieve deep integration of industry and education, exploring an innovative path for the integration of science and education in vocational education groups.

“The group aims to build a modern vocational education system to promote the reform of high-quality skill-oriented talent cultivation models and enhance the level of service to Chongqing’s development. Government functional departments, schools, enterprises, and industry associations all participate together, deepening school-enterprise cooperation and building a chain-based talent cultivation system. We provide strong talent support for Chongqing’s plan of building the City of Design,” said the representative of the Chongqing Industrial Design Vocational Education Group.

Deepen integration of industry and education

Industry-education integration must yield tangible results, with the key focus on effective implementation, mobilizing the enthusiasm of “schools” and “enterprises” and leveraging the subjectivity of enterprises. In this regard, the Chongqing Industrial Design Vocational Education Group has fostered deep collaboration between schools and enterprises which have established shared expertise and resources in terms of professional development, faculty training, curriculum development, teaching materials, and facility construction. This enables the seamless integration of cross-system resources between the education and industrial sectors, representing the genuine convergence and alignment of the educational chain, talent chain, industrial chain, and innovation chain.

The 21 colleges within the group, seizing the opportunity presented by the modern apprenticeship system pilot, have jointly explored a distinctive apprenticeship system with Chinese characteristics in which enterprises contribute to student funding, while simultaneously engaging in joint recruitment and talent development. Programs for mold manufacturing technology and other skills have been developed, and collaborative efforts are underway for curriculum delivery, assessment and evaluation, and pedagogical research and improvement. In the autumn semester of 2022 alone, over 200 students were enrolled in these pilot programs. Notably, the Chongqing Light Industry School, Chongqing Vocational College of Transportation, and Chongqing Industrial Design Association have jointly established a 3+2 Middle and Higher Vocational Integrated Collaborative Training Class for Mold Manufacturing Technology, effectively integrating and sharing industrial and educational resources.

In recent years, enterprises associated with the Chongqing Industrial Design Association have provided more than 3,000 internships and practical training positions for students, significantly enhancing the quality of vocational education and the professional competence of students majoring in industrial design.

In February 2021, the Chongqing Industrial Design Vocational Education Group established the Chongqing Industrial Design Modern Industrial College. Leveraging the group’s advantages, the college has setup precision mold training centers, creative industry training bases, and industrial design integration training bases in 15 high-quality enterprises. Additionally, sorts of specialized colleges, including Die Casting Mold College, Additive Manufacturing and Design College, and Innovation and Entrepreneurship College, have been established in collaboration with partner enterprises for targeted training programs.

Since its establishment, the Chongqing Industrial Design Vocational Education Group, led by the Chongqing Light Industry School, has consolidated the strengths of various stakeholders, enhancing its vitality in education and its capacity to serve Chongqing’s development. In January 2023, the group was officially recognized as a demonstration vocational education group by the Chongqing Municipal Education Commission

Adhere to the building of City of Design

Chongqing Industrial Design Vocational Education Group’s collaboration between schools and enterprises has formed a development pattern that resonates with economic and social progress, reshaping the public’s stereotypical perception of vocational education.

The spokesperson of the group stated, “We will accelerate vocational education reform and advancement, achieving innovative breakthroughs in educational mechanisms and systems, practical innovation, operational models, service of technical skills, and talent cultivation, continuously enhancing our ability to serve the local economic and social development.”

Chongqing Industrial Design Vocational Education Group will adhere to the mission of building the City of Design and continuously enhancing the service functions of Chongqing Industrial Design Industrial College. With a focus on the digital transformation and upgrade of professional fields such as the Internet of Things, mold manufacturing, and artistic craftsmanship, the group will leverage the core effect of high-quality specialties, serving industrial product styling design, model design, digital intelligence, and establishing high-level clusters of industrial design professions, as well as advanced vocational training bases that integrate industry and education.

Furthermore, the group will promote the integration of industrial design with rural revitalization, cultural arts, and industrial heritage utilization, driving the development of pilot demonstration projects under the “Industrial Design+” concept. It will focus on creating projects serving rural revitalization in the Sichuan-Chongqing region.

Chongqing Industrial Design Vocational Education Group has a clear direction that it will rely on Chongqing’s industries and market demands, prioritize the cultivation of industrial design skilled talents, construct a municipal-level exemplary vocational education group that features innovative operational mechanisms, effective resource sharing, distinctive cooperative education, and impactful industry-education integration. With full dedication, the group strives to become a national exemplar in vocational education. It will establish a design-driven entrepreneurial training system, establish an industrial design vocational education cooperative exchange center, strengthen international exchanges and cooperation with a broader perspective, actively contribute to the construction of the Chengdu-Chongqing Economic Circle, and propel Chinese industrial design towards the international stage.

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