The model of school-based training in Vietnamese TVET is currently preventing the country from obtaining a qualified workforce. This is due to a skills mismatch. Training in the workplace is, therefore, a pertinent solution to reduce the discrepancy…
Governance in TVET for a better qualified workforce: Effective models of school-industry collaboration from the standpoint of vocational law and from the perspective of legacy conditions and reality in Vietnam
Problem-based Learning (PBL) with embedded design concept to strengthen students’ cognitive activities
In TVET training, it is important to build learners’ capabilities of employing engineering principles and concepts from training to solve engineering problems; using knowledge of engineering science to analyse existing conditions and define requirements and constraints related to solving a problem in a complete and accurate statement. Students should be able to develop their knowledge and skills with new or updated engineering tools to solve an engineering problem. Learning how to use engineering knowledge to solve problems may be key to developing a well-trained labour force through TVET in Vietnam.
Informal Learning in Vietnam: Status quo, Circumstances of existence and the demand to be acknowledged
Since 1986, Economical innovation ‘Đổi mới’ happened in Vietnam. In the beginning, Vietnam had only demand of workforce for light industries such as clothing, footwear or construction, which are characterized as labour-intensive, low-skilled, simple work. Thus, firms did not want to recruit highly skilled workers. Now, three decades later, Vietnam is on shift away from agglomeration (stage of initial Foreign Direct Investment absorption) and to technology absorption (internalising parts and components) (Ohno 2010). Therefore, it brought a new demand of highly skilled workforce; complex work such as operating CNC Machining Centres, assembling agricultural machines, designing and assembling printed circuit, etc., emerges in line with the development of the Vietnamese economics.
In the circumstance of lacking Monozukuri (JICA 2014) TVET Vietnam has been considered as “poor cousin on the education side of the family” (Aring & Goldmark. 2013) for a long time. That’s reason why many companies have to struggle catching up their demand of qualified workforce by providing In-house-training courses or on-the-job-trainings. However, the question are: how to build a proper training course in order to cultivate their newcomers with intend to help them to adapt demands at workplace and make them being work-ready after training? Moreover, how they define correctly skills needed? This is the most important concern in TVET Vietnam at this time, when most of Vietnamese companies have been ready for setting up training courses for their new workers, even advanced training afterwards in order to advance qualification their workforce.
The recent lack of a skilled labour force is a high risk for the economy in Vietnam. Within ASEAN, “Vietnam ranks in the lower half of human resources development” (EuroCham 2014, 31). Therefore, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), “reforming training and education to better meet demand for skilled labour” is one of Vietnam’s key challenges for the medium-term (EuroCham 2014, 31). For the long term, TVET institutions have not had connections with industry. This causes a gap between the need of a labour force, which comes from industry, and the quality of the labour force who are trained in TVET institutions. The best solution for solving this gap is through the enhancement of Work-Integrated Learning through cooperation of TVET institutions, companies, and universities.
The dual system is considered as a successful and well-known model of TVET all over the world. It might be a proper solution in order to solve skills mismatch and skills shortage, which the Vietnamese industry names as a “main obstacle” for developing and also expanding their manufacture in Vietnam. In the report about the innovations in quality apprenticeships in the United States, Aring with collaboration of La Rue has mentioned the case of German companies in the USA such as BMW, Volkswagen and Siemens, which have brought the dual model to the countries where they have settled their plants and have implemented the model but using a different name e.g. Quality apprenticeship (Aring 2014, 5).
Work Process Based Curricula for TVET in Vietnam – inevitable tendency and how to prevent a functional curriculum
“Skills mismatch” and “skills shortage” are very popular concerns in reports on Vietnamese TVET. As a result, many Vietnamese companies struggle to re-train their newcomers after recruitment. Some of them have to accept even unskilled workers who then undergo a “functional training”, for example, welder training and machine assembler, to adapt to the demands of work. Thus, training-at-work has been implemented in most of the Vietnamese companies. However, this process is similar to what has been practised in craftsmanship for years: a repeating process of “watching – imitating – trying – failing – experiencing and working”. There was no place for didactics and educational principles. These companies have difficulty in defining skills, developing a training roadmap and conducting scholarly training. Moreover, TVET in Vietnam is facing supply-side problems (in terms of workers) because TVET institutions merely provide training based on their perceptions instead of paying sufficient attention to employer’s skills demands (JICA 2014). Consequently, there is a gap between the providers (TVET institutions) and the consumers (companies).