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Vocational schools need more links with employers

Update: September, 22/2018 - 09:00
Nguyễn Hồng Minh. — Photo

Nguyễn Hồng Minh, Director General of the Directorate of the Vocational Education and Training speaks to the Hà Nội Mới (New Hà Nội) newspaper on the need for strong co-ordination between vocational training institutions with labour markets.

Do you have any comments on the students’ enrolment and job training in the past few years?

We have achieved successes in students’ enrolment and job training in the last few years. In 2017, more than 2.2 million students were admitted to vocational training schools nationwide, achieving 100.2 per cent of the target. By now some two million students have graduated from vocational training schools, of which more than 400,000 of them were graduates from colleges or vocational secondary education. What’s with noting is that more than 80 per cent of the graduates found jobs immediately with their monthly salaries from VNĐ4.6–5.2 million (US$198–225). For graduates from prestigious vocational school, they all got their jobs immediately following their graduation.

This is good news for Việt Nam as the country is in great need of well trained skilled workers.

Getting a job following graduation is a top concern of many students. Tell us about the opportunities?

Prior to the 2018-19 school year all vocations schools worked closely with enterprises on their recruitment plans. Many vocational schools roughly know the labour market demands and the capacity they can provide to the enterprises. For example, the Hà Nội Vocational College of High Technology promised their students jobs immediately after their graduation.

And more recently, the Prime Minister approved the project “Vocational training and consultation for the period 2018-25”.

The project’s objective is to make a breakthrough in vocational training quality, contributing to career guidance in junior and senior high schools. Students in high schools will be consulted to take training suitable to their choice to meet the country’s socio-economic requirements and integration with Asian regions and the world at large.

All senior and junior schools will have vocational guidance connected with local production and service by 2025. At least 80 per cent of schools in disadvantaged district have vocational guidance program by 2025.

Around 40 per cent of graduates of junior high school will pursuit vocational training and at least 45 per cent of senior high school students continue career training, according to the project.

The government will support equipment for vocational training facilities, which are selected to carry out the pilot program in the project.

Will you please talk a little bit about changes in our vocational training facilities to meet new requirements?

There are some 2,000 vocational training establishments nationwide, of which 388 are vocational colleges, 551 secondary vocational colleges and the remaining are occupational education centres.

To improve the quality of these vocational training facilities, the Ministry of Education and Training worked closely with agencies and local governments to make sure all the training courses meet their objectives and goals.

By now the network of public vocational training schools have offered training courses on 134 key occupations, of which 62 occupations have met the international standards; 93 occupations have met the regional standards; 134 occupations have met the national standards.

Worthy of note, Việt Nam now has run 25 pilot training schools offering 12 occupations in accordance to international standards with support from Australia.

What’s the role of Vietnamese enterprises in the training courses?

Concerned Vietnamese enterprises are invited to give their comments or suggestions. In addition, during the training courses, the students also spend time doing on the job training.

In reality, many training facilities have signed contracts with enterprises to train skilled workers. For example, the Dung Quất College of Technology has signed a contract to train and to provide more than 16,000 skilled workers in Quảng Ngãi Province in the period 2018-2020. Meanwhile the Nha Trang College of Tourism has co-operated closely with more than 30 enterprises in a hope to find jobs for its graduate students.

However, in reality, about 70 percent of Vietnamese enterprises are not interested in co-operating with occupational training facilities with a simple reason – they want to save money for their production expansion rather than on training their human resources.

In my opinion, the enterprises should get involved in the training courses for their workers as the investors and the customers. This is a common practice in many foreign countries.

What are the missions of the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs in the task of job training?

From now till 2025, the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs has laid down three main groups of solutions as follows;

First, having high quality teachers, good infrastructure, good training curriculum in order to ensure high quality outputs;

Second, self autonomy principle is applied to all occupational training centres.

And finally, close co-operation among training institutions with enterprises and the labour market toward the goal of having sustainable employment for the workers. — VNS

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