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WB calls for re-think on staff training

Update: November, 30/2013 - 09:50
Minister of Education and  Training Pham Vu Luan (second from R).— Photo vietnamnet
HA NOI (VNS)— Skills gaps and shortages plus information barriers are the main challenges to labour mobility in Viet Nam, a development report by the World Bank reveals.

The report, released at a conference in Ha Noi yesterday, highlights the fact that many Vietnamese firms have a shortage of skilled workers.

The skills needed most are technical, then cognitive skills, such as problem-solving and critical thinking. Behavioural skills, such as team work and communication, are also in demand.

"Equipping the workforce with the right skills is an important part of Viet Nam's effort to accelerate economic growth," said Christian Bodewig, human-development leader from the World Bank in central Europe and the Baltics - and the report's main author.

Participants at the conference, including State leaders and education experts, agreed with Bodewig, stressing the need to forge much stronger links between enterprises, schools and students.

Minister of Education and Training Pham Vu Luan said that more students at training schools and colleges should be mobilised to work as interns for enterprises so that they could acquire practical skills.

Bui Tuan Anh, general director of the Department of Higher Education, said some medical and business colleges in Viet Nam had adapted their training curricula to market demand and forged links with hospitals and enterprises.

But generally in most fields, he said that the link remained weak.

He said enterprises needed to provide schools with information about their specific skills demands, so that they could design suitable training programmes.

Experts agreed on the need for enterprises to get more involved in training, including increasing investment in training centres and schools.

Tuan Anh, however, asked how enterprises could be made to invest more in education.

Cao Van Sam, deputy director of the General Department of Vocational Training, said the Government should have incentives to encourage enterprises to invest in training centres and schools.

Sam implied that only practical incentives in the form of benefits brought practical results. Many at the conference agreed.

"Rather than planning and managing the education and training system centrally and top-down, the role of the Government is to help to ensure a better information flow between employers, schools and universities and students, and to enhance capacity and set the right incentives by freeing up universities to partner more effectively with businesses," said Bodewig.

Vu Tien Loc, chairman of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, proposed setting up a national skills-training committee, just like the national salary committee that was established earlier this year.

He said the committee should involve representatives from State authorities, training centres and enterprises and be used to propose suitable policies and strategies about training standards and curricula. — VNS

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