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Businesses and vocational schools: Finding a common voice

Expert Lou De Castro Myles Ngoc
Expert Lou De Castro Myles

Education & Times Newspaper - Ms. Lou De Castro Myles, an International Consultant and Teaching Specialist, Queensland University of Technology, finished the fifth training course provided by Aus4Skills for business leaders, teachers and educational managers of vocational schools.

“Logistics enterprises and vocational schools have found a common voice!” – Ms. Lou excitedly shared about the initial results of the training.

What is lacking in logistics education?

* How do you assess the current development of the logistics industry in Vietnam?

- I think that the logistics industry in Vietnam is facing great challenges, as well as opportunities for development. A similarity between Vietnam and Australia is the lack of high quality human resources for logistics. However, Australia has a national accreditation system and a quality framework for this industry. Along with that, the interaction and connection between logistics enterprises and vocational schools in Australia are very tight.

In Vietnam, the cooperation between businesses and vocational schools is not firmly established. Meanwhile, the current demand is to improve skills for Vietnamese workers to compete in not only the APEC region, the Asia Pacific region, but also in the international labor market. We need a good workforce to cater to the logistics industry; the training must also have corresponding innovations. This will be a big challenge for vocational education to provide high-quality human resources for a global industry like logistics.

* How do you choose training content and method which are suitable for business leaders, vocational schools’ lecturers and managers?

- I used a lot of personal knowledge and experience in designing this course. I choose an action-based learning method. I encourage students to learn, respond, and give solutions to problems, when I coordinate, support them to set goals, determine beneficiaries, thereby developing action plans and building a curriculum.

I would like to emphasize how learners understand concepts. For example, in relation to the concept of developing a performance-based program, curriculum, etc. learners need to understand the role of vocational education and have an overview of vocational education in the labor market. Every day, I will rely on the learners’ knowledge to build and deploy activities during the day. To do this, I think it is necessary to be flexible, to see what the learners already know, and build a program based on the basic knowledge that trainees have.

Tools to apply knowledge into practice

Expert Lou De Castro Myles Ngoc
Expert Lou De Castro Myles and her Australian colleague discussing with Vietnamese trainees

* How do you evaluate Vietnamese trainees in this course?

- Some trainees have knowledge but do not know how to apply it in practice. I have provided them with tools to apply existing knowledge and skills. I have helped trainees who are leaders, lecturers at the vocational schools to understand how to maintain the attention of students in classes. In the traditional teaching method: the lecturers speak and students listen passively. However, I have suggested trainees to observe students attentively. If students are bored, tired, neglected, they should organize simple games relating to the lesson. This will lead to more active involvement of the students in the lessons.

Teachers are also leaders, helping students understand the material. I have given the trainees some ideas, from which they thought about their practical application. For example, in class, I used the "learning circle" method so that people can discuss and debate with each other. The key to this process is respectful learning and listening. Because only by listening to other people, can we understand the problem thoroughly.

* What support do you give to students to implement their plans?

- This is a challenge. When I meet them in person, I can support them more. Currently, I am in charge of 6 projects being implemented in 6 countries, so I have limited time. However, if Vietnamese trainees need help, they can contact me. Within my capacity, I can spend one hour of counseling and support for students.

- You have delivered 5 training courses for Vietnamese trainees, and 3 more training courses will be organized. What do you expect from Vietnamese students after the courses?

- I joined Aus4Skills from 2018 and have delivered 5 courses, and 3 more courses will be implemented in the near future. I think Aus4Skills will be the foundation to connect businesses and vocational schools, and will use the budget provided by the Australian Government to develop skills of workers in Vietnam. It can be seen that the first contribution is to improve the capacity of vocational education and training staff. Along with that, the involvement of leaders, planners and decision makers in the logistics industry has created system changes. I see the Government of Vietnam has a strong commitment to develop vocational education to provide quality labor for businesses. When businesses and schools join the program, they will see the potential of collaboration.

* Thank you very much for the interview!

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“Logistics businesses and vocational schools had the opportunity to meet in training courses, and forums. People have a better understanding of the vocational education system, which helps them to effectively develop workers’ skills sets. They are the change agents that help the Vietnamese logistics sector to thrive in the future.” - said expert Lou De Castro Myles

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Source: Translation of an article on Education and Times Newspaper