The European Union (EU), the International Labour Organization and MOLISA, (Bureau for Employment and General Department for Vocational Training) are launching an 11.7 Million Euro (US$18.3 million) project to support the development of human resources in Viet Nam and enable the economy to continue to attract investments to provide jobs and income-earning opportunities.
The project, which will run until December 2010, will focus on two specific issues: improving planning for human resource development by improving the quality and availability of information on local labour market and skill needs; and improving the relevance of skills by improving the capacity of teachers and trainers.
Better labour market information is a key factor in improving the quality and relevance of skills training. Viet Nam is in the process of developing and introducing National Skills Standards to address concerns about the relevance and consistency of the individual training qualifications issued by different training institutions. With the support of major international donors the country is also upgrading the skills of teachers and the quality of equipment.
The Labour Market project will build on these developments and introduce new elements designed to make Viet Nam’s human resource development system more effective and responsive to market signals, and able to meet the global economy’s demand for skilled workers by building up the capacity of teachers and training institution managers. Engaging industry in the development of national skills standards is also important.
The acceleration of structural change in economic production brought on by the combined forces of globalization and accession to the World Trade Organization pose an immense challenge for Viet Nam. While growing numbers of unskilled workers are leaving rural areas or being laid-off from state-owned enterprises, many companies in emerging sectors are unable to find qualified workers to take up jobs. In addition, while school leavers and university graduates may have more education than their parents, sometimes their diplomas and degrees do not make them suitable for existing job opportunities, whether in the government or private sector.
With training and support the Labour Market project aims to reach out to job seekers in three regions covering fifteen provinces in Viet Nam ( Ha Noi, Hai Duong, Bac Ninh, Phu Tho, Ninh Binh, Da Nang, Lam Dong, Quang Ngai, Ha Tinh, Dac Lac, Long An, Ho Chi Minh, Can Tho, Dong Nai, and Ben Tre). It will also support research on relevant topics such as the projected 2 demand for skilled workers, skill needs in the formal & informal economy and addressing the skills mismatch of young people. By setting up labour market information units in Centres for Employment Services, the project will obtain a profile of registered job seekers and notified vacancies. The management information system and pilot tracer studies will give a better picture of the labour market situation.
“The challenge is to be able to plan for human resources development in a changing environment. This requires not only new sources of relevant information from employers themselves, but also better systems that pull the pieces together,” said Johann Farnhammer, First Secretary of Cooperation, Delegation of the European Commission to Viet Nam. “Such a system needs to be strengthened and improved by bringing users and producers of labour market information together to identify both the needs and the gaps and key strategic measures in order to develop concerted and sustainable skills development”.
“Like in many other Asian economies, the major challenge is to address the considerable mis-match between what skills are needed in the private and public enterprises and government agencies and the types of skills being offered by the education and training system. It is not about having skills for the sake of having skills. It is about having skills that will allow you to become employed. It is about your employability”, expressed Rie Vejs-Kjeldgaard, Director, ILO Office in Vietnam.
The relevance of job-seekers skills will be improved by building up the capacity of Vietnamese skill development institutions in three areas. First, a training programme for competency-based curriculum development will be developed in Vietnamese, and a core group of teacher-trainers and a distance learning facility will allow for continuing training of teachers while they work as well as replication and extension. Second, using an industry committee-based approach, national skills standards will be developed and implemented for one specific industry, including relevant training, assessment and certification processes. In addition, a guideline manual will be created so that the process can be reproduced by the national authorities for other industries. Finally, a training programme for the managers of training institutions will aim to improve the responsiveness and relevance of their institutions’ activities (including through applying improved local labour market information), supported by a small grant programme to ensure that good quality plans can be executed and the results documented for further dissemination.
“The project will work within the broader framework of human resources development support to Viet Nam” said Johann Farnhammer. “Several previous and current projects already support the work of the Centres for Employment Services, in particular improving teacher training, developing skills standards, and building up their effectiveness. This project explicitly aims to form active partnerships with current projects and apply the lessons of previous ones”.
The project’s main government partner is MOLISA, (Bureau for Employment and General Department for Vocational Training) but other stakeholder Ministries, provincial organizations and social partners will also play a critical role in its success.
For further information please contact:
Ms Le Thi Huong Lien
Communication Focal Point
ILO Office in Viet Nam
Tel: 7340902 ext 206