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Logistics training and education in Ho Chi Minh City: Industry-led Vocational Education and Training Model

Education and Times Newspaper – Aus4Skills Program, an Aus4Vietnam Investment by the Australian Government, aims to contribute to human resource development and skills development in Vietnam. 

Mr. Nguyen Van Lam, Deputy Director of DOLISA Ho Chi Minh City

Mr. Nguyen Van Lam, Deputy Director of DOLISA Ho Chi Minh City

In December 2017, the Australian Government, in partnership with the Government of Vietnam, launched the Logistics Industry Reference Council (LIRC) to promote industry linkages with vocational education and training (VET).
Regarding objectives and implementation roadmap for the VET industry-led model in the logistics sector, Mr. Nguyen Van Lam, Deputy Director of Department of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs (DOLISA) Ho Chi Minh City shared with Education & Times Newspaper.

* According to specific statistical figures and information obtained at job fairs held by DOLISA Ho Chi Minh City, could you please share with us the current job demand of the logistics sector in Ho Chi Minh City?

- Currently, Ho Chi Minh City has approximately 40 ports, 88 wharves, with a total human resource demand in the logistics sector of nearly 350,000 workers. Meanwhile, there are two VET colleges and one VET school providing logistics training programs, with a total number of graduates of around 2,600 persons/a year, and two enterprises are providing logistics training.

According to our forecasts, with an annual growth rate ranging from 7.5% to 10%, the job demand in the logistic sector in Ho Chi Minh City will be approximately 170,000 to 180,000 workers by 2020. This clearly shows that VET providers can only provide a negligible number of workers compared to the logistic sector’s workforce requirements.

Having a management role in vocational education and training in Ho Chi Minh City, and with the support of the Aus4Skills Program, we have promoted stronger industry engagement in VET curriculum design and training in the logistics sector. With strengthened capacity, these providers will open faculties to provide competent, skilled labour for the logistics sector in the 2018-2020 period. Currently, two colleges have submitted dossiers to the General Department of Vocation Education and Training (MOLISA) for opening a logistics education and training faculty.

Students from the Vocational College of Machinery and Irrigation in a logistics class

Students from the Vocational College of Machinery and Irrigation in a logistics class

* There are many sectors which lack human resources. Why did DOLISA Ho Chi Minh City select the logistics sector for piloting this industry-led vocational education and training model? And what are the objectives of this model?

- Recently, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc chaired a National Conference on Vietnam’s Logistics Sector. Based on his direction, from now until the end of 2020, with a vision to 2030, the logistics sector is given priority for development.

In total, there are more than 3,000 business facilities in the Vietnamese logistics sector. Ho Chi Minh City accounts for about 10-15% of the total; the logistics growth rate in Ho Chi Minh City is significantly high. Accordingly, human resource demand in this sector shall be given special attention in support of the 4th Industrial Revolution.

Ho Chi Minh City’s government has focused on specific aspects: curriculum development, textbook and lesson plan improvements, admission counselling and promotion, and especially stronger engagement with the business community in the logistics sector for forecasting labour market needs in the coming years, and developing training to address the relevant labour needs of the logistics industry in the city and neighbouring provinces.

* We heard that each company participating in this model has shared its job requirements, and VET graduates are expected to meet these specific requirements. How is Ho Chi Minh City implementing the system to satisfy these needs?

- The general direction of vocation education and training activities in Ho Chi Minh City is to strengthen linkages with business to provide qualified and skilled workers who meet the workforce development needs of industries, not only in the logistics sector. In many vocational programs, theoretical knowledge accounts for 30-40% of the course time while remaining 60%-70% is spent in practical apprenticeship training at firms so that VET graduates will be able to quickly adapt with the working environment and work independently. This is our direction in vocational education and training this year and in the coming years.

The logistics sector has been given higher priority because of its special characteristics. Theories and practical exercises shall be closely related to the actual vocations, thus VET graduates shall experience working in transport companies, ports, etc. in order to meet employer needs and market trends.

Apart from theoretical educational content, we have paid special attention to essential professional skills in the logistics sector. In addition, we have provided soft-skills training to students in occupational health and safety, foreign languages, information and technology equipment and systems so that they can support the modernization process in the logistics sector in the near future.

““We aim for training and providing highly skilled labour in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, contributing to the social – economic development and modernisation of Ho Chi Minh City in general and the logistics sector, in particular. The logistics sector is our focal industry for improving quality and relevance of vocational training and increasing employability and productivity of VET graduates until 2020 and the following period,” said Mr. Nguyen Van Lam, Deputy Director of DOLISA Ho Chi Minh City.

Source: Education and Times Newspaper.