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Students fail to make use of apprenticeship

Update: April, 22/2016 - 11:17
Students are seeking jobs at a job centre. Most of gradute students are struggling with adapting to the real workplace, even after experiencing apprenticeships. — Photo

HÀ NỘI – Most of gradute students are struggling with adapting to the real workplace, even after experiencing apprenticeships, researchers from the HCM City Pedagogical University have claimed after a two-year study.

The study that garnered 1,180 responses from university students in HCM City found that students faced difficulties in developing apprenticeship plans and getting to know about the workplace where they are to take the apprenticeship. Many feel confused when trying to apply what they have learned at university to real workplace conditions.

Professor Huỳnh Văn Sơn, who led the study, said that up to 58 per cent of respondents said they had hardly ever used office equipment such as a fax, printer or photocopy machine during apprenticeships. About 56 per cent said that they didn’t know how to operate the machines or equipment directly related to production in the industry they study.

He said that the ability to use such machines and equipment was very important to students, but that universities failed to offer proper lessons or chances for students to witness and practice these skills.

Sơn also said that the students’ foreign language competence was modest as 43.3 per cent admitted that their English proficiency was below average.

Through their study, Sơn and his research students have suggested several major reasons why students fail to adapt to real workplace conditions.

Almost of half of those asked said that schools offered them academic theory rather than practice. About one third said they were not equipped with the skills to adapt to a real workplace. Another 31.4 per cent said there was no connection between the university and the firms that received apprentices.

Sơn said that Vietnamese firms had little need to receive apprentices because Việt Nam does not have a strong industry and the procedures required to have a person instruct apprentices in a real workplace were complicated.

In many cases, firms complained about the employees’ lack of skills and re-trained them, but few took any move to better co-operate with training institutes. Meanwhile, training programmes at universities have been seemingly compiled and approved by academic scholars, resulting in little practical experience, Sơn said.

Nguyễn Hồng Anh, 28, an officer worker in Hà Nội, said that she had taken an apprenticeship in accounting at a private company, but that she could barely do anything related to accounting.

During her apprenticeship she felt herself redundant in the office, she said, adding that the company gave her some information and data so she could write up her apprentice report. — VNS

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