With more than 60 percent of the population under 35 years of age, Vietnam has the potential to deliver high and sustainable economic growth, said ADB senior social sector specialist Sakiko Tanaka.
To help realize this potential, the Skills and Knowledge for Inclusive Economic Growth Project aims to help ensure Vietnam’s workforce has the skills and knowledge necessary to increase their competitiveness and productivity for the global market, she noted.
The project, supported by a 75-million-USD loan from the ADB, will provide advanced training equipment to 16 national TVET institutes. In collaboration with the business community, these upgrades will help enhance the quality of training programmes for advanced skills in key growth areas, such as electronics, mechanics, biotechnology, automation, and automotive industry.
In addition, a 3-million-USD grant provided by the Japanese government will complement these activities by strengthening the quality of the soft skills, such as the ability to communicate, teamwork, and problem-solving, and developing demand-driven short-term skills programmes for women and youth in disadvantaged communities.
Vietnam has enjoyed sustained economic growth in recent years, becoming one of the fastest growing economies in Southeast Asia. But the country is currently facing a shortage of skilled labour, and its labour productivity is lower than its neighbours in Southeast Asia — 7.5 percent of Singapore’s and 17 percent of Malaysia’s in 2015, for instance.
A survey by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) said TVET graduates lack industry-specific skills and other soft skills.
The project is expected to benefit about 75,000 students by improving teaching and learning environment. At least 2,500 adults and out-of-school youth are expected to take part in short-term skills training courses to help them find better-paid jobs or start their own businesses.