Viet Nam News
HCM CITY -- Nguyễn Văn Thiết had dreamed of winning the ASEAN Skills Competition, but when his parents insisted that he apply for university, his hopes were dashed.
Thiết, who is from the north-central coastal province of Nghệ An, entered university after passing the entrance exams, but he found it difficult to choose a major.
“I wasn’t sure that I could get a job after graduation,” he added.
After Thiết’s brother won the championship at the ASEAN Skills Competition, Thiết decided to follow in his footsteps and pursue study at the Hà Nội Vocational College of High Technology.
An excellent student, Thiết achieved his goal: winning the gold medal in the 2016 ASEAN Skills Competition.
Four months ago, he began working at Samsung Electronics Việt Nam, and will graduate in June.
Last Saturday, students at Cao Thắng Technical College in HCM City heard about Thiết’s success story at a meeting with 60 “excellent young workers” from around the country who were being honoured by the Hồ Chí Minh Communist Youth Union Central Committee.
Many of the 60 workers were graduates of vocational training schools.
“Skills that we learned at the country’s vocational training schools were the same as those needed in ASEAN,” Thiết said. “When you choose vocational training schools, you can improve your skills and get a job after graduation.”
Lê Văn Quốc, a freshman at Cao Thắng Technical College, said that success stories of young workers like Thiết had inspired him to continue his vocational studies.
“I will try my best to develop my skills and English,” he said.
Because many secondary and high school students want to go on to university, vocational training schools have seen a reduction in enrollment in recent years.
Nguyễn Đăng Khang, a10th grader at Nguyễn Hữu Huân in Thủ Đức District, said he would not choose a vocational training school after graduation.
“I will apply for universities because my parents want me to do it,” Khang said.
Nguyễn Thị Ái Nữ, a 10th grader at Bình Hưng Hòa High School in Bình Tân District, said that she would apply for medical university.
“If I fail, I will consider studying at a vocational school,” she said.
The drop in enrollment figures at vocational schools has led to a shortage of skilled technicians, according to experts.
Lê Minh Tấn, head of the city’s Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, said: “We should find ways to reduce the number of students applying to universities.”
HCM City needs thousands of skilled technicians to develop 21 main industries, including electronics-electricity, refined food, and nine service industries by 2020, Tấn said.
Tấn said that counselling for secondary and high school students would now begin at the start of the academic year instead of the year end.
Last Saturday, the department, in co-operation with Giáo Dục thành phố Hồ Chí Minh (HCM City Education) newspaper, held the first event of the Enrollment and Career Counselling programme, which aims to help the city’s 484 vocational training schools reach the enrollment target of 403,000 this year.
The counselling for students and parents includes information about enrollment, training majors, assistance policies and tuition. Study skills are taught, and students are also helped to choose a major suited to their interests.
Phạm Ngô Tuấn Kiệt, a 10th grader at Bình Hưng Hòa High School, who attended the event, said: “I wanted to know which school would provide effective training in IT and automotive industry careers.”
Trần Thị Trâm Anh, a student at the same school, said the event gave her a chance to visit Lý Tự Trọng College in Tân Bình District, where the event was held, and find out about different majors and facilities.
The Enrollment and Career Counselling programme, according to Trần Ngọc Cường, rector at the HCM City Vocational College, is expected to help students access colleges.
Cao Văn Sâm, deputy head of the General Directorate of Vocational Training, said: “Schools should closely co-operate with enterprises in training highly skilled human resources for the jobs needed in today’s modern environment.”
He added that more students would choose vocational college if they were assured of a job after graduation. VNS