France takes his job at Zhejiang Hongwuhuan Machinery Co very seriously. [Photo/qz96811.com]
As expected, the trainee in assembling drilling machines respectively called out "Master!" in Chinese to his instructor when he entered the workshop of Zhejiang Hongwuhuan Machinery Co in Quzhou, in East China's Zhejiang province, on June 27.
But this was no mean feat linguistically because the apprentice, whose name is France, is a long way from home – hailing from the Republic of South Africa.
Since April this year, a total of 20 overseas students from the South African class of Quzhou University started a three-month internship at the Quzhou company.
France's job is to assemble drilling machines. He now nimbly climbs up a drilling machine, turns the nuts with a wrench and then tightens all the screws.
His master Lu Hongliang said that although France is the most ineloquent of his charges, he loves learning new skills. After mastering basic assembly techniques, the eager student badgered his master to teach him how to operate a forklift.
South Africa is an important country along the Belt and Road route. As the trade between China and the country becomes increasingly bigger, a lack of sufficient local talent is proving to be an obstruction for the overseas expansion of high-end Chinese manufacturers, like Hongwuhuan.
Quzhou University, a long-term partner of Hongwuhuan, took the initiative to get into contact with the higher education ministry in South Africa to offer assistance in grooming mechanical manufacturing technicians.
Last November, 20 South African students came to Quzhou University to start their studies of mechanical theory. Five months later, they practiced what they've learned in class in Hongwuhuan.
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