Luban Workshop boosts Sino-India vocational training cooperation

International Exchanges

Chinese-funded Luban workshops have become a new model for international vocational training cooperation.

XinhuaUpdated: October 14, 2019

Making robots, printing 3D works and designing solar panels. These are among the many design and skill training programs undertaken by students and teachers of the Indian Luban Workshop.

The Indian Luban Workshop was officially opened in December 2017, with the support of three schools -- Tianjin Light Industry Vocational Technical College, Tianjin Vocational College of Mechanics and Electricity and Chennai Institute of Technology.

The workshop has four majors and six training areas, covering numerical control equipment application and maintenance, photovoltaic power generation technology and application, industrial robots, new energy vehicles and three-dimensional reverse design.

The program is named after Lu Ban, an ancient Chinese woodcraft master, and has become a new model for international vocational training cooperation.

In the Luban workshop, Chinese teachers do not teach local students directly, but train their teachers first.

On the basis of mutual recognition, China offers high-quality vocational education for foreign partners, according to the Tianjin Municipal Education Commission.

"Indian students really want to learn the PMC program and numerically controlled machine tools. I could feel their enthusiasm as they asked for more lessons," said Han Zhiguo, a teacher with Tianjin Light Industry Vocational Technical College.

In June 2019, five Indian teachers of the Chennai Institute of Technology came to Tianjin for training and Han was one of their tutors. Han, who was involved in the construction of the Indian Luban Workshop, has also been to India twice.

Indian teacher Ravi Kumar Narasimman came to Tianjin to undergo training and led his students to join a vocational skills competition in China in May 2018.

"The eight days of training were simply great. We learned more knowledge about new energy systems and got more ideas about PLC programming," said Ravi Kumar Narasimman.

Thilbertta Dorine Panneer Selvam, a student of the Chennai Institute of Technology, won an excellence award in a competition on the installation and commissioning of hybrid wind and photovoltaics power generating systems.

"We practically learned everything about solar and wind energy. I liked the teaching method. This platform made us prove our talent," the student added.

The Indian Luban Workshop not only helps students learn technical skills, but also provides them with more job opportunities.

P. Sriram, president of the Chennai Institute of Technology, said students of the Indian Luban Workshop have become more confident and competitive in the job market. Meanwhile, enterprises have given good feedback.

Li Mingfei, chairman of the Chamber of Chinese Enterprises in South India and director of LNV Technology Pvt Ltd. affiliated to Sinoma International Engineering Co., Ltd, said his company employed four to five students of the Indian Luban Workshop this year, and other chamber member companies recruit about 10 more students every year.

"Students highly match the job positions of our company and other electronics, materials and solar energy companies. Moreover, we are willing to give them promotion opportunities to boost bilateral exchanges," said Li.

The Indian Luban Workshop has trained more than 200 Indian college students and 500 employees in Chennai and provided 65 graduates for enterprises in India, according to Tianjin Light Industry Vocational Technical College.

Since 2016, eight Chinese-funded Luban workshops have been set up in Asia, Africa and Europe, helping train more than 4,000 students and 600 teachers.