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Canada-backed project to organize forum on vocational training in Ho Chi Minh City

Thursday, December 03, 2015, 11:07 GMT+7
Canada-backed project to organize forum on vocational training in Ho Chi Minh City
Hospitality college students are pictured during an observation session at Sheraton Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City.

A two-day policy forum entitled “Planning for Skills Training that Meets Labor Market Needs” is slated to take place in Ho Chi Minh City next week, as part of a Canada-funded project to strengthen Vietnam’s technical and vocational education and training.

The forum will be held on the afternoon of December 8, and in the morning the following day by the Vietnam National University-Ho Chi Minh City (VNU-HCM) at New World Hotel Saigon in District 1.

It is the first of what will become an annual event of the Vietnam Skills for Employment Project (VSEP), a US$20 million initiative funded by Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development.

The event aims to “engage education and training, government and industry stakeholders in a dialogue to explore ways to improve the match between labor supply and labor demand,” VSEP said in a press release on Tuesday.

The VSEP, running from November 2014 to January 2020, is created to assist the Vietnamese government in strengthening its technical and professional education and training system.

The Canadian consul general to Vietnam, Richard Bale, and the standing vice-president of VNU-HCM, Associate Professor Huynh Thanh Dat, are scheduled to commence the upcoming forum, according to the VSEP.

The forum will present the process the VSEP has used to conduct labor market need assessments in three provinces, Binh Thuan, Hau Giang and Vinh Long, to inform the preparation of three new college programs in the areas of hospitality/tourism, post-harvest production and food processing, according to the event’s agenda.

The first dialogue session will feature a presentation by Philip Mondor, president of the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council, who led the labor market need assessment in Binh Thuan and who has assisted several countries around the world in aligning their hospitality/tourism programming according to country needs.

His co-presenter, Le Ngoc Ha, general manager of the Oriental Pearl Beach Resort in Mui Ne, the capital of Binh Thuan, and vice-chair of the Binh Thuan Tourism Association, will provide an industry perspective on the challenges in HR planning for tourism in Vietnam.

The second session will highlight presentations by two Canadian college leaders, Ann Marie Vaughan, president of College of the North Atlantic, and Sean Kennedy, vice-president of Niagara College, who will present the best practices of Canadian colleges in aligning college programs with local and regional labor market needs.

Both sessions will be followed by policy dialogues to engage stakeholders in discussions on the relevance to Vietnam of these best practices from Canada and around the world and challenges in their implementation.

The policy dialogues will conclude with the creation of a set of policy recommendations to improve human resource planning and better align the skills of the workforce with the needs of industry.

“As we move towards ASEAN integration, with the free flow of skilled labor across the region which this will bring, it has never been more important than now to ensure that Vietnam has a strong and competitive workforce,” Consul General Bale remarked in a statement.

“I am delighted that Canada will be able to help Vietnam reach this goal by sharing best practice in education and industry engagement to ensure that graduates have the skills which industry needs.”

In addition to holding events such as this policy forum, the VSEP will support the development of two Training Centers for Advanced Management, one each in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

The project will also assist Binh Thuan, Hau Giang and Vinh Long in better aligning their human resource planning with industry needs through the development of three exemplary industry-driven, applied, community college-level programs in the provinces’ key economic sectors.

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