Cao Van Sam, deputy director of the Vocational Training General Department, spoke to Thoi bao kinh te (Economic Times) about the need to reform vocational training based on market demand.
Viet Nam's unemployment rate among university graduates is rather high, while the country's labour market lacks those who are specialised in the technical sectors. How do we attract more students to vocational training centres?
Viet Nam is in an economic transition phase, and the sectors with strong restructuring processes will need more labour, such as the electrical sector, mechanics, and information technology.
In my opinion, there are two things we need to do aggressively to attract more candidates to vocational training centres. Firstly, we need to set a quota for vocational training centres based upon market needs, not on what they can provide. Secondly, there must be an obligation that labourers obtain a "national certificate" with certain professions to be eligible to be recruited. This requirement aims at ensuring safety for labourers, as well as improving labour quality in the country. As a result, it will also improve the country's competitiveness.
Can you speak in more detail about classifying vocational training, as well as its value?
In fact, Viet Nam has many policies on classifying vocational training, but most of them have not addressed the core of the problem. In my opinion, classifying vocational training is quite simple. For instance, in the labour market some 80 per cent are direct labour, and the rest are indirect labour. Probably, the 80 per cent labourers are average labourers and learn their profession through vocational training, while the other portion are those having college educations and above.
Let's not talk about parents' wishes to have their children obtain a university degree. Such wishes start from the way society sees the "real" value of labour. It is necessary to make people see that vocational training is good for those who really want to learn to work. I think vocational training opens huge chances for jobs, because the market needs such people.
If one has a job, she or he has a greater chance for stability, and thus can save. Then they will have more chances to improve their ability to increase their productivity, as well as their income.
What can vocational training centers do to help their participants find stable jobs with reasonable incomes?
In the current economic situation, enterprises have their own difficulties in production and doing business. The strategy about human resources and production technology has changed greatly, as well. Thus, vocational training centres should adapt to this change.
In general, for most vocational training centres, the rate of participants getting a job is 70 per cent, while the figure might be 100 per cent at other centres. There are participants who even get jobs during the first or second year of the training course. It depends on the type of jobs where participants can earn different levels of income, but they can earn at least VND4 million (US$190) a month. For those have training in welding technologies, the income might come to VND15 million ($700) per month, while those with training in computer technology can earn $1,500 a month. — VNS