by Le Ha
HA NOI — Viet Nam hopes to raise the number of skilled workers from 16 million to more than 34 million by 2020 by linking enterprises and training institutions in better equipped and more market-oriented courses.
|Students of Dung Quat Vocational School practise on mordern equipment. The country hopes to increase the number of skilled workers by linking enterprises and training institutions. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Long
Indeed, within three years, the number of skilled workers is expected to hit 23.5 million people.
The targets were set in a recent vocational-training development strategy approved by the Prime Minister.
Under the strategy, in the next three years, about 2.1 million labourers will be trained in vocational institutions and 7.5 million will receive short-term training courses.
And in the next five years, another 4.7 million will also be trained under separate projects for rural workers.
Most workers will be trained for the fisheries, industrial and services sectors, according to Mac Van Tien, director of the National Institute for Vocational Training.
The new strategy aims to develop the number of trainers in both quantity and quality and to invest more in key vocational training institutions.
But domestic-labour experts said the most workable solution would be to set up closer links between training, market demand and enterprises.
Nguyen Hong Minh, director of the General Department of Vocational Training, said that about 70 per cent of students graduating from vocational-training institutions were employed each year.
In some specific industries, the rate reaches 80 or 90 per cent, such as in heavy industry. However, many students quickly leave these jobs due to low salaries and tough working conditions.
Minh added that many showed little interest in graduates from vocational training institutions.
He said that links between enterprises and vocational training schools were clearly not strong enough.
Both Minh and Tien said co-operation between labour suppliers and employers should be lifted, so as to turn out graduates with practical skills.
This type of co-operation has existed for several years at a few schools.
Tien said many schools were too afraid to open new courses to handle the requirements of enterprises.
He said most enterprises wanted to pick the best students to satisfy their immediate requirements, but rarely displayed much social responsibility in training them.
The current economic downturn has also led many to cut out spending on training or opening refresher courses.
Nguyen Hoan Nguyen, director of Tien Phat Automation Co, said his company helped fresh graduates become familiar with equipment. If they did well as interns, they would be chosen for permanent work.
However, the skills of engineering students graduating from vocational institutions was not high and they often lacked a professional working style and lacked a foreign language often required in the workplace. He said his company had to re-train them for at least two to six months.
To make things more difficult, Nguyen said, much of the equipment in vocational training institutions is less modern than that used in many enterprises. So both enterprises and vocational training schools should join hands to update the technology.
Another problem that may hinder the new strategy is the low rate of students choosing to take vocational training courses.
Trinh Quang Chinh, director of the Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs in northern Lao Cai Province said that many people were not interested in vocational training because they still found it difficult to get job after graduation.
Furthermore, the demand for skilled workers was now low not only because of economic circumstances but because many businesses did not want to focus on developing human resources.
Tien said the best way forward would be to focus on building the national standards for vocational training to help students not only gain work skill but also other skills necessary in life. — VNS