CHANGSHA, February 25 (Xinhua) -- China, the world's leading firework producer, is set to produce the technicians demanded by the fireworks sector through an institution of higher learning.
The Hunan Work Safety Vocational College, which is to be set up this fall in Changsha, capital of central China's Hunan Province, plans to offer specialized courses on fireworks production later this year.
Up to date, fireworks producing techniques are still taught in the traditional way -- a master teaches fireworks producing techniques to an apprentice.
Liu Youzhen, an official with the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS), said that no Chinese colleges or universities offer training courses on fireworks.
Such inefficient training methods have led to a serious shortage of technicians in this field.
In Liuyang, one of the major fireworks producing areas in China, only 1,280 out of the 200,000 workers in the fireworks sector were awarded the title of firework technicians.
As the world's number one fireworks manufacturer, China turned out 90 percent of the world's total fireworks in 2005. Fireworks "made in China" are available in nearly 100 countries and regions worldwide.
Most of the firework makers are workshops and small factories with small profit margins due to intense competition.
Experts say that the prices of fireworks imported from China are much lower, ranging from one tenth to one third of the productions made in other countries.
Less than 60 percent of the fireworks in the domestic market are up to the quality standard, according to a sample survey done by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.
Sun Huashan, deputy head of the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS), said fireworks had to be "safe and environment-friendly".
He urged the sector to speed up industrialized production through improved technology and standards.
"To achieve that, we have to train more technicians," said the official.