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An ideal system in vocational education and training for logistics sector

Education & Times Newspaper – Logistics jobs have been growing steadily in Vietnam and receiving investment by the Government. Located in the very centre of the industrial zones and business activities of the Ho Nai Industrial Zone, Trang Bom District, Dong Nai Province, the Vocational College of Machinery and Irrigation (VCMI) has distinct advantages in student enrolment and training for logistics jobs, ensuring high employability of their graduates.

Dr. Nguyen Van Chuong Principal of Vocational College of Machinery and Irrigation

Dr. Nguyen Van Chuong, Principal of Vocational College of Machinery and Irrigation

In an interview with Education and Times Newspaper, Dr. Nguyen Van Chuong, Principal of VCMI, stated that close collaboration between vocational schools and enterprises is the most ideal structure in vocational education and training for the logistics sector.

* We heard that VCMI has participated in the Aus4skills Program, promoting an industry-led vocational education and training mechanism for the logistics sector. Since your involvement in the program, are there some changes in the school’s vision and training methodologies?

- Participating in this program, we fully recognized our responsibilities to develop occupational skills standards which meet the program’s objectives. VCMI allocated sufficient resources, infrastructure, and vocational trainers to participate effectively in the program. The most important objectives pointed out by the Aus4skills program is the development of an industry-led vocational education, with training systems and occupational standards that are closely related to the actual occupations and employers’ needs. These objectives are perfectly matched with our educational strategies.

* Given this systematic direction, do you plan to increase student enrolment numbers for the logistics faculty?

- In the 2018-2019 academic year, VCMI will add approximately 70 enrolment slots for new logistics jobs. I think VCMI should take this action to contribute to a better developmental strategy for the logistics sector.
It is hoped that we can recruit and provide students with relevant occupational skills standards developed with support from the Aus4skills program. Accordingly, in a short span of time, Vietnam will have a highly skilled workforce which meets employers’ needs and market trends.

* Given the increased enrolment numbers in the logistics faculty, did VCMI establish linkages with enterprises for introducing this skilled labour supply, and eliminating gaps between job supply and demand in the logistics industry?

- These are the activities we do frequently. With the opening of each vocational program, we introduce expected occupational standards, skills, and competencies of graduates to business entities in the industry.
During discussions, we were impressed by the interest of companies in our program. They even committed to recruit the whole class from the logistics faculty after graduation.

Students were practising as Forklift Operators

Students were practising as Forklift Operators

* Could you please share about job opportunities and expected salary for the Forklift Operator position for which there is training at VCMI through a standardized occupational training program? 

- It can be seen that in almost all enterprises, moving and lifting goods are important as this relates closely to effective warehouse operations, thus, opportunities for this occupation are very high. The salary for fresh graduates is approximately 7 million Vietnam dong/month, and can be increased to 10 million Vietnam dong/month for those with 1 to 2 years working experience. Given the living conditions at Dong Nai industrial zones and neighbouring areas, this salary is relatively high. 

* As a manager of a vocational college, what is your current biggest concern? 

- My concern is that VCMI’s trainers satisfy the standards and criteria provided by the Aus4skills program. In addition, equipment and machines used in vocational colleges are not compatible with companies’ systems. Therefore, the quality of vocational education and training depends largely on stronger engagement with the business community. In order to improve practical exercises and the relevance between training curricula and advanced, professional tasks in actual occupations, colleges definitely need support from companies in the industry. 

In addition, our nation is undergoing rapid development and integration process, with numerous international cooperation opportunities. It is necessary to upgrade Vietnamese standards to international levels as soon as possible to catch up with other countries in the region and world.

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Under the scope of the Aus4skills program, the Logistics Industry Reference Council (LIRC) was launched with participation from VCMI. Currently, 7 academic leaders and trainers from VCMI are participating in training programs and courses on development, management, and evaluation of occupational skills standards in Australia. In the near future, competency-based curricula will be designed and provided, in accordance with Australian occupational standards, for 4 vocations in the logistics industry, namely: Logistics Administration Officer, Warehouse Supervisor, Forklift Operator, Warehouse Operator.

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Translation of an article on the Education and Times Newspaper

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