China’s New VET Exporting Brand – the Luban Workshop

Luban – a legendary ancient Chinese carpenter, the symbol of an excellent & innovative tradesman, has become a new brand for China’s VET education exports. This project is led by the Tianjin municipal government, working together with its local VET providers. It adopted a model of “Government-Enterprise-Institution” collaboration. Since 2016, eight Luban Workshop programs have been established in Thailand, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Cambodia, Portugal, the UK and Gilberta. One of the main features of this program is that there is no direct teaching conduct by Chinese teachers; instead, it is a “train-the-trainers’ program, using Chinese teaching models and industry standards to train local teachers, backed by the investment and networks which help improve the training facility and strengthen the employment channels. Many of the Chinese invested businesses in these countries have taken up the role of “enterprise” in this triangle of relations. To date, over 4,000 students and 600 teachers have been trained. The programs are conducted at both senior high-school and tertiary levels, some have bridging programs for further studies abroad or programs to connect students back to Chinese universities’ degree programs. The programs recruit locally as well as across China. The disciplines are ranged from marine time technician to hospitality to motorbike repair.

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