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Learning to Work in China's Leading Metropolis


by Leslie N.K. Lo, Manhong Lai & Jin x Jin Xiao 2005

This article examines the skills development needs and learning opportunities of the workforce in the city of Shanghai in the People's Republic of China. It attempts to elucidate the factors that influence employees' participation in workplace training and adult education activities. By tapping the views of firm executives and employees, this article discusses the combined efficacy of three types of education and training activities for vocational learning: informal learning, nonformal training, and formal adult education. The major findings of this article suggest that working adults in Shanghai are willing to participate in a variety of adult education and training activities so long as they can see the utility of these activities. Their willingness is especially apparent when adult education and training can yield widely recognized qualifications that enhance their marketability. As the leading metropolis of China, Shanghai has great aspirations for its own role in national development as well as on the world stage. Its endeavor in providing skills development for a large workforce during a period of economic transformation should afford conceptual and policy insights into the implementation of adult education and training in changing societal contexts.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 107 Number 6, 2005, p. 1335-1369
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 11913, Date Accessed: 10/18/2017 5:35:04 AM

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About the Author
  • Leslie Lo
    The Chinese University of Hong Kong
    LESLIE N. K. LO is chair professor of educational administration and policy, director of the Hong Kong Institute of Educational Research, and director of the Educational Development in Chinese Societies research program at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
  • Manhong Lai
    The Chinese University of Hong Kong
    E-mail Author
    MANHONG LAI is an instructor in the Department of Educational Administration and Policy and a member of the Educational Development in Chinese Societies research program at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
  • Jin x Jin Xiao
    The Chinese University of Hong Kong
    JIN XIAO is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Administration and Policy and a member of the Educational Development in Chinese Societies research program at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She is the principal investigator of the research project from which findings presented in this article are drawn. The research project, Alternative Training Paths for Human Resources Development: A Reverse Tracer Study of Manufacturing and Service Sectors in Shanghai, China, was supported by the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong.
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