VIETNAM needs to improve the quality of its technical and vocational education and training to meet the requirements of digitisation and industry 4.0, a conference heard in Ho Chi Minh City.
Truong Anh Dung, deputy general director of the Directorate for Vocational Education and Training, said technological breakthroughs in areas such as digital printing, robotics, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, the Internet of Things, and self-driving cars are changing the automation and production processes globally.
This presents a chance for Vietnam’s economy and a challenge to its technical and vocational education and training (TVET), he said.
“Many old jobs are lost and many new jobs are emerging, requiring occupational profiles to be changed.”
Automation would change skill requirements, with low skill levels being no longer suitable, he said.
According to delegates, digital technologies will transform the nature of future jobs.
The greatest impact would not be from job loss but from changes in tasks that would require technical skills/knowledge, human skills and digital literacy, they said.
Today’s skill levels are insufficient for the jobs, they said.
Wendy Cunningham, lead economist in the World Bank’s social protection and labour practice, said workers would need to constantly upgrade skills to complement and not to be replaced by machines.
“Occupations will generally stay the same but the skills content of jobs is changing, even in the simplest jobs.”
Skills to complement technology are uniquely human (higher-order cognitive thinking, socio-emotional skills) and required for interacting with technology (digital literacy), she said.
Vu Xuan Hung, director of the department of formal training at the Directorate for Vocational Educational Education and Training, said: “It is necessary to drastically reform training delivery and school management.”
The “Inertia” of many years of supply-oriented training with inflexible curriculums and out-of-date training methods hinders such reform, he said.
Besides, it is necessary to reform training methods through application of information and communication technology, he said.
It is necessary to drastically change to a “market-oriented” and “future market-oriented” training model, but to do that the linkage between vocational training organisations and enterprises must be enhanced, he said.
Prof Dr Georg Spottl, director of the Steinbeis Transfer Centre InnoVET at University Bremen, Germany, said digitisation, networking, handling of intelligent systems, and software-aided impact on production facilities would be a new cross-sectional requirement for training.