Short courses may help students find work

Update: September, 19/2008 - 00:00

Short courses may help students find work


Participants at the second Viet Nam Economic Forum in Ha Noi yesterday discussed the importance of developing human resources and infrastructure in Viet Nam. Below is a summary of some of the presentations.

Tran Thi Ha, director general of the Tertiary Education Department under the Ministry of Education and Training:

The education sector is now discussing ways to reduce the gap between training and the market demand for human resources. We are encouraging training schools to sign contracts on workforce demand with enterprises. At the moment, we are working with the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs to provide information on employer needs, while providing enterprises with the names of schools and the training courses they offer.

The Ministry of Education and Training has held many conferences where enterprises can meet representatives from schools with relevant training courses to find out whether their curricula match the enterprises’ needs or not.

In the coming time, we plan to organise conferences on human-resource training in the healthcare and agricultural sectors.

Pierre Dietrichsen, head of Ha Noi Campus, RMIT International University of Viet Nam:

Globally, governments and universities are looking to change tertiary education so that more colleges offer vocational job-related education as opposed to academic universities. The new trend in the world is towards vocational training and education with a focus on practical, industry-interactive courses. Viet Nam is facing the same challenges and human-resource shortages.

A globalised workplace and regional integration mean graduates must compete across borders and in other cultures for jobs. Vietnamese universities are facing the challenge of producing graduates with marketable skills here and abroad.

I think Viet Nam should organise short-term courses offering valuable diplomas and certificates that will help them find work. Afterwards, they can return to education to get a higher degree. This is experience-based learning.

Higher education needs to co-operate with enterprises to avoid the situation where graduates cannot find jobs.

Don Fraser, International Labour Organisation’s expert on labour market information:

The ILO, with the financial and conceptual support of the European Union, and in close co-operation with the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) has embarked on a major project with very significant implications for human-resource development in Viet Nam.

Known simply as the Labour Market Project, it approaches the issue of enhancing human-resource development for sustainable growth in Viet Nam from two very different but complementary viewpoints.

The first approach is from the more traditional angle, which sees human-resource development and skills’ enhancement as closely aligned. From this perspective, the project is not aimed so much at directly achieving major changes as demonstrating some key principles which need to be given a high priority in order to get the best value from sustainable human-resource development from the vocational training sector in Viet Nam.

The second part of the EU/ILO/Viet Nam Labour Market Project involves working from a very different perspective. Its task here is to make a substantial contribution to influencing and enhancing human-resource development at the macro level.

Or, to put it another way, perhaps the most productive and beneficial form of human-resource development comes when the labour market as a whole can be made to work smoothly and fairly; and in the best interests of sustainable socio-economic objectives.

Unfortunately, however, it is very rare indeed for labour markets anywhere to work smoothly and fairly on their own. The simple fact is that the demand and supply sides of the labour market are influenced by very different factors and unsurprisingly they get out of balance in a variety of ways. And when they get out of balance they become inefficient and do not make the best use of national human resources.

Nguyen Ba Thuoc, deputy general director of Viet Nam Posts and telecommunications Group (VNPT):

The impressive development of telecommunications and information technology has brought significant changes to mankind’s socio-economic life. Modern technology and changing lifestyles and working modes are opening a brilliant prospect for a new social form – an information society. It can be said that telecommunications/information technology is an opportunity for developing countries to foster economic development and narrow the gap with developed countries.

In recent years, the Vietnamese economy has achieved a high growth rate along with increasingly deep international integration. The telecommunications/information technology industry, in which VNPT is a leading corporation, has made a major contribution to the country’s socio-economic development all over the country from big cities to remote provinces.

On April 19, the telecoms satellite Vinasat-1, owned by VNPT, was successfully launched into space. Vinasat-1 will help improve Viet Nam’s telecoms infrastructure as well as the network’s capacity and reliability.

As you may know, poor infrastructure is an obstacle to economic development and a barrier to investors. However, infrastructure development requires considerable capital, but current capital resources for development are insufficient. In order to mobilise maximum resources for infrastructure development for modern telecommunications/information technology as an important basis for developing different types of services and network application VNPT has focused on expanding strategic associations with partners from different economic backgrounds; co-operating with them in developing and exploiting telecommunications/information technology network infrastructure.

Telecommunications/information technology infrastructure development will play an important role in infrastructure development of other industries, attracting investors and helping to sustain the country’s economic growth.

William Lean, managing director of VinaCapital Infrastructure Fund:

I have been in Viet Nam for 10 years. I can see that there are a huge number of motorbikes both in Ha Noi and HCM City. As a result, I am extremely excited by the establishment of an infrastructure-development fund.

At the moment, VinaCapital is providing solutions to power outages, transport problems and the need for industrial parks in Viet Nam. As for our plan going forward, we are keen to continue to support Viet Nam in the fields of power, transport and the environment.

Many of us are familiar with the current problems in the world’s capital and financial markets. One lesson to be drawn from the current crisis is that it’s vitally important to invest in infrastructure that is less affected and vulnerable to global risks. The number of cars in Viet Nam is rapidly increasing. I believe in the development of the auto industry in Viet Nam. It would therefore be a good idea to invest more in infrastructure. — VNS