|An elderly-care worker takes the arm of an elderly woman at a hospital in Yantai, East China's Shandong Province. [Xinhua]|
China has lowered the threshold for elderly-care workers and improved the potential for career development in that field according to the recently issued China National Occupation Skill Standards for Elderly-Care Workers.
The new standards, worked out by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security and the Ministry of Civil Affairs, have major improvements over the standards set in the 2011 edition, and aim to get more people to work in the elderly-care industry and to address the problem of a seriously inadequate supply of elderly-care workers across the country.
By implementing the new standards and making greater efforts in the training of care-givers to the elderly, China is dedicated to qualifying two million elderly-care workers before the end of 2022.
Statistics shows that the number of elderly people has reached 249 million and 40 million of them are dysfunctional or partially-dysfunctional, while the number of the elderly-care workers is only 300,000.
According to the new standards, the academic qualification requirements for elderly-care workers have been removed and educational background will not be a qualification requirement for those engaged in elderly-care.
However, the number of occupational skill levels required for elderly-care practitioners has risen from four to five.
Application requirements for primary-level practitioners have been adjusted from "more than two years of continuous probationary work in this occupation" to "no less than one year of accumulated work in this occupation or related occupations."
The new standards stipulate that for the primary-occupational-skill-level applicants who have not obtained a primary school diploma, theoretical knowledge examination can be conducted orally to assess the basic requirements and relevant knowledge that practitioners should master in this occupation.
In addition to adding a highest level "grade one/senior technician," the 2019 standards expanded the application range. Graduates from technical schools, high-level technical schools, technician colleges and junior colleges and above can apply for the elderly-care occupation. Graduates from secondary vocational schools are allowed to apply for a grade four/intermediate qualification directly. The time of the advancement of occupational skill level is shortened accordingly.
To meet the needs of home and community care, the new standards add new skill requirements, such as a basic knowledge of fire control and skills of caring for the aged with dementia, as well as capability appraisal and quality control, two newly-added vocational skills based on exploration of local provision of elderly-care services, including consultations.
The two ministries will work on organizing experts and scholars and management personnel of elderly-care service and staff to prepare training materials for elderly-care workers and develop training demonstration sites or exemplary bases for them.
(Source: China Youth Daily/Translated and edited by Women of China)
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