Vietnam - TVET / Career Guidance
Location: Provinces Quang Nam and Nghe An
Budget: Total 2011-2013: €815,687 (realised 2011: €8,418; planned 2012: €285,100; planned 2013: €522,240)
Key themes: Career guidance, Orientation and counselling; Lower and upper secondary education; Vocational education and training; Skills development
The Vietnamese government prioritised production of more skilful labour forces for the next five years (2011-2015), not only to meet the demands for high skills for economic development, but also for sustainable reduction of poverty. The number of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions has increased significantly over the last years (from 640 in 2006 to 1,017 in 2009). However, the fast growth of TVET institutions did not solve the problem of shortage of skilful workers. The TVET system is plagued by several problems, such as: fragmentation, shortage of resources and low capacity of TVET teachers and managers. There is also poor career guidance at secondary schools. This is one of the reasons for the shortage of TVET students and the shortage of skilled labour.
The problems of fragmentation and shortage of resources are beyond the scope of VVOB. Low capacity of TVET teachers and managers and the quality of TVET services could be addressed by VVOB.
The programme targets career guidance in secondary education and the appreciation of the value of vocational education by communities (civil societies, students, parents...). By doing so, the programme seeks to contribute to the improvement of the quality and relevance of the vocational education in secondary schools.
Initially two provinces will participate: Quang Nam and Nghe An, which are also covered by the Education programme.
Career guidance in secondary education in Vietnam follows two tracks:
- education of career guidance, where career orientation is provided though specifically dedicated periods and extra-curricular activities;
- and vocational taster courses, which are provided as part of the technology subject and as education of general profession periods, which are delivered at schools and Centres for General Techniques-Career Orientation.
Career guidance goes beyond mere information provision which is well illustrated by the following quote from the OECD: "The necessity of making good information available to all is not in question: the Internet is increasingly providing a means of doing so. But the issue is whether this is sufficient. For career information to be of value, individuals need to be able to act upon it. This assumes that they are able to find it, understand it, relate it to their needs, and convert it into personal action."
The operational partners are the Departments of Education and Training and the Women’s Union in both provinces. Also the Provincial People’s Committees and the Departments of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs are closely involved to ensure relevance of the intervention, and coordination and integration with other initiatives.
A clear vision on what career guidance entails is important. VVOB will assist its two partner provinces in making this vision explicit within the framework of the Education Law and other legal documents. With a provincial vision on career guidance, VVOB wishes to help its partners to clarify how they see the concept of career guidance, what they wish to achieve with career guidance in their provinces and how this translates to the operational level. A number of key questions need to be answered in order to do so. Which competencies career guidance seeks to build with students? Which stakeholders can and should take up a role in the specific context of the provinces and how will they do that? The answers to these questions will guide the interventions in career guidance, vocational courses and career counselling at secondary schools.
VVOB is also assisting the provinces to setup a portal website on career guidance. The portal will bundle existing information related to available jobs, trends on the labour market, training opportunities, aptitude testing etc. This will be done through developing the capacity of the Departments of Education and Training to collect and compile information and to assist stakeholders to access and use information for career guidance.
So far, most secondary teachers have not been trained on how to run good career guidance. They carry out the career guiding work without adequate capacity and facilities (knowledge, skills, information and tools). The programme will help in strengthening the capacity of selected lower- and upper-secondary schools in delivering more effective career guidance through the support to multiplication trainings on career guidance organised by provincial core groups.
To help improve the quality of Education of General Profession courses given in lower- and upper-secondary education, the programme will support capacity development in and by revising and updating materials on Education of General Profession with the use of Active Teaching and Learning methods.
Finally, the programme will also help in raising awareness of parents and students on the value of career guidance and vocational education. This will be done through supporting Mass Organisations (in particular the Women’s Union and Youth Union) and through developing capacity of the management level of these organisations to support the change process and implement awareness campaigns.
Programme implementation took off in 2012. In 2011, consultations were held for further alignment with the partners about programme approach and implementation.
Besides the carrying out of baseline surveys in the two provinces, an inception workshop for the setting up of the portal website on career guidance was held early 2012 in Tam Ky, Quang Nam. During this workshop, the main partners in this programme, the Departments of Education and Training and provincial Women’s Unions, decided that the portal website will bundle quality screened existing online information related to available jobs, trends on the labour market, training options, aptitude testing etc. Following on this workshop, meaningful categories for grouping the links have been developed and Departments of Education and Training are collecting and screening links. The content management system for the portal website and technical guidance to maintain this system are under development.
Once the portal website is operational, the programme will build capacity for the different stakeholders in career guidance (parents, teachers, counsellors,...), who can draw information from the online portal for career guidance.
Two provincial workshops took place in March 2012 during which key provincial stakeholders discussed their vision on career guidance. This shared vision will guide future operationalisation of the programme. The provincial visions and a synthesis document will be discussed with relevant national actors, such as the Ministry of Education and Training, the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs, the Chambers of Commerce and a number of development partners active in the TVET sector in Vietnam.