This article argues that China's education system is facing unprecedented pressures to provide appropriately skilled individuals to meet the demands of the rapidly growing economy. In China this is a uniquely complex situation owing to the coexistence of a diminishing command and control economy and a growing market economy. Within this context we find that there are at least three sets of employers placing different demands on the education system. These demands come from three groups of organisations operating under different forms of ownership who prioritise skills differently based on different ideological and historical approaches to organisation, management and learning. Consequently they relate differently to the education system, placing varying demands on the system and using the education and training system to serve rather different functions in their skill supply strategies
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