Wednesday, December 19 2018

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Việt Nam needs to improve training of highly skilled workers

Update: November, 27/2018 - 09:00
Students at the Hải Phòng Industrial Vocation College learn to operate automatic metal cutting machines. Experts say developing a skilled workforce is essential in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. — VNA/VNS Photo Anh Tuấn
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam needs to develop and implement labour market policies, including a systematic approach to training its growing workforce, to fully reap the benefits of free trade.

Experts agreed on this point at a conference organised by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA), the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs of Switzerland (SECO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) yesterday in Hà Nội.

Speaking at the conference, MoLISA Deputy Minister Doãn Mậu Diệp emphasised the need to strengthen labour market policies and develop a skilled workforce in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

In the context of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and ongoing efforts for ratification of the EU-Việt Nam free trade agreement, he said Việt Nam is making efforts to reform labour legislation and industrial relations systems in order to ensure the benefits of free trade are shared fairly.

The Swiss Ambassador to Việt Nam, Beatrice Maser Mallor, emphasised the importance of “social dialogue, improving working conditions, enhancing productivity in response to the requirements of globalised production processes and contributing to sustainable and inclusive economic growth.”

Raymund Furrer, Ambassador and Head of the Economic Cooperation and Development Division of SECO, said Việt Nam’s increasing economic and trade integration means it is more important than ever to ensure all Vietnamese people can benefit from inclusive and sustainable economic growth. By providing support to the projects that enhance productivity and improve working conditions in Vietnamese enterprises, Switzerland contributes to the integration of Vietnamese businesses into global value chains.

ILO Việt Nam Country Director Chang-Hee Lee said, “Việt Nam needs to develop modern labour market policies based on solid evidence to respond to changing needs of industries and workers while providing necessary social protection to workers at a time of rapid change, symbolised by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

Education renewal

At another conference on labour held in HCM City last week, professor Nguyễn Ngọc Trân, former deputy chairman of the National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs Committee, said the training and retraining of workers was an important step in making sure Việt Nam’s workforce meets the requirements of the Industry 4.0.

With advances in information technology, teaching methods have changed a lot, but the role of the teacher is still very important.

"Teaching and training will make workers dynamic and creative," Trân said.

By 2015, the country had 27.8 million skilled technicians, accounting for 51.6 per cent of the total labour force. However, there were only 10.9 million graduates from primary to postgraduate, accounting for slightly more than 20 per cent, according to the MoLISA.

In 2017, the rate of workers with technical expertise – college-level or higher – accounted for more than 17 per cent.

Bùi Trung Hải, an expert from the National Economics University, pointed out that unemployment was high among highly educated groups in part because the labourers’ skills did not meet actual demand.

Hải said the demand for skilled workers in the context of Industry 4.0 demanded timely innovation by the higher education system. This would mean changes in content, training methods, programme structures and the way universities are managed.

Professor Nguyễn Đình Đức from the Hà Nội National University said that to train high-quality workers, the higher education system should standardise training programmes and develop innovative teaching and learning methods.

Universities should urgently develop strategies and solutions to improve talent and quality training, he said. — VNS

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