Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — In 2017, Lê Văn Quốc applied to the Cao Thắng Technical College, one of the leading vocational training schools in HCM City, despite getting admission to a university.
“I saw the high rate of employment of graduates from the school,” he explained to Việt Nam News.
Unlike in the past many high school students now prefer to join vocational training schools.
In fact, in 2017, 25 per cent of them did not apply at all to universities and colleges, according to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.
Last year, vocational schools took in more than 2.2 million students, the ministry’s statistics showed, with many managing to admit a substantial number.
Xuân Lộc Hòa Bình College in Đồng Nai Province, for instance, stopped admissions by September after exceeding its quota by 15 per cent.
In past years it used to face difficulties in getting students, Dr Trịnh Thanh Toản, its vice rector, told Lao Động & Xã Hội (Labour & Society) Magazine.
The Đồng Nai Technical College exceeded its quota by 10 per cent.
In the Mekong Delta city of Cần Thơ, many vocational schools such as Cần Thơ Technical Economic College, Cần Thơ Medical College, Cần Thơ Vocational Tourism College, and others too exceeded their quotas.
The jump in admissions has caused many schools to offer new streams this year.
The Cần Thơ Technical Economic College for instance is offering courses in managing natural resources and environment, export-import business, supermarket management, and management of transportation and logistics.
According to officials, after the management of vocational schools was handed over to the ministry, course lengths have been shortened from three years to 2.5 years at the college level and from two years to 1.5 years at the intermediate level.
This reduces the fee burden and enables students to start working earlier, they said.
Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Đào Ngọc Dung said the attitude of society and students towards vocational education has changed.
The ministry too has done many things to help vocational schools attract more students, he said.
It plans to ensure vocational education helps improve the quality of human resources, meet the demand of the labour market and improve the country’s competitiveness, he said.
It would improve career counseling, grant vocational schools autonomy, and create partnerships between schools and enterprises, he said.
Last year the Directorate of Vocational Education and Training signed nearly 20 agreements with State organisations and enterprises for co-operation in training and recruitment.
Reports from labour departments around the country showed that in 2017 more than 80 per cent of vocational training students got jobs soon after graduation.
The ministry has issued a number of decrees on quality to create a legal framework for standardising training programmes.
It has instructed vocational schools to create a system for quality assurance and has received assistance on quality assurance from experts from the UK, Australia, Canada, France, Japan, and South Korea.
Last year, 12 advanced Australian training programmes were piloted at 40 vocational training schools around the country.
All programmes, tests, methodologies, and technologies met Australian standards.
After completion, students are conferred a degree from Australia and another by their school in Việt Nam.
Six schools each offer French and British programmes.
The ministry has merged many vocational schools as one way to improve their quality and encouraged schools to use IT in training, Dung said.
“Autonomy, co-operation with enterprises and standardisation of training programmes will help vocational education achieve a breakthrough,” he told Vietnam News Agency. — VNS