Yunnan Province, on China’s southwestern border, is well known for its beautiful natural landscape and rich ethnic culture. Yet it is also one of the country’s poorest provinces. Its per capita GDP in 2010 was only half of the national average. With 84% of mountainous land, the majority of its 45 million people live in rural areas – 1/3 of them belongs to 25 ethnic minority groups.
The labor force in Yunnan generally possesses low levels of education and skills. Most have completed just nine years of compulsory education or less, and professional and technical workers often lack skills certificates.