In recent years, the need for well-trained technical workers in the wastewater sector has considerably increased. The Vietnam Water Supply and Sewerage Association (VWSA), as agreed by its member companies, is the central institution, which facilitates and coordinates the cooperation between vocational institutes and the business sector in developing and implementing initial vocational training programmes as well as high quality short-term further training courses for technical workers based on the actual needs of companies.
Regarding full-time training programmes, the active participation of the business sector in technical and vocational education and training (TVET) is crucial to make theses training offers more demand- and practice-oriented and thus increase the employability of the graduates. The cooperative full-time training programme ‘Sewage Engineering Technicians’ is one of the very first best practice examples of a close cooperation of a vocational college, Vietnamese enterprises and a sector association in the development and implementation of a training programme. Since November 2015, the pilot class with 22 trainees of this training programme has been jointly implemented oriented on the German standard by the College of Technology II in Ho Chi Minh City (HVCT) and five sewage enterprises in Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong, Khanh Hoa, Can Tho and Ba Ria – Vung Tau. Trainees are being equipped with theoretical knowledge at a vocational college and the practice experiences through on-the-job training in a company. The cooperation between vocational institutes and enterprises is one of the core success factors of TVET in Germany. This pilot programme has been receiving support and consultation of the Vietnamese-German Technical Cooperation Programme Reform of TVET in Viet Nam (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
Professional knowledge and pedagogical skills of vocational teachers and in-company trainers have been improved through further training courses in Viet Nam và Germany provided by German experienced experts.
In order to ensure the training quality, since 2014, 25 vocational college teachers and in-company trainers have participated in an intensive qualification programme including professional and pedagogical advanced training courses provided by the experienced German experts and the Programme Reform of TVET in Viet Nam (GIZ).
Regarding short-term further training for technical workers, who are working in sewage companies but have not been professionally qualified in sewage engineering, the Programme Reform of TVET in Viet Nam (GIZ) handed the right of use of seven German well acknowledged further training sessions over to VWSA. With the support of the TVET-Programme, VWSA has been adjusting the training contents of these training sessions according to actual technical, climatic and legal conditions of Viet Nam. Moreover, on 17 November 2016, VWSA received the 11 most qualified in-company trainers of the 25 teachers and in-company trainers that were trained by the Programme Reform of TVET in Viet Nam (GIZ) mentioned above as certified Trainers for Sewage Engineering in its training team. With the combination of qualified trainers and training programmes, which have been successfully implemented for 20 years in Germany and were adapted to the conditions in Viet Nam, short-term training sessions provided by VWSA are expected to effectively back companies in developing highly skilled technical workers, who are able to perform their tasks in order to reach the technical standards in the most safe and effective way.
Theoretical and practical training modules are spread over three years in interlinked training phases at the vocational college and the partner companies: Trainees are learning by doing in sewage companies from the very first semester.
‘Technical and operational workforce is the heart of every wastewater company. We consider capacity development for our employees a strategic task and we are ready to invest in these activities. We hope that the both the full-time training in colleges and the further training sessions will help us develop a skilled workforce with solid fundamental knowledge and working skills specifically required by the wastewater sector’, Mr Nguyễn Văn Thiền, Chairman of the Boards, Binh Duong Water – Environment JSC., shared.
The teacher trainers received certificates of The Vietnam Water Supply and Sewerage Association
If the cooperative training programme is jointly implemented by more TVET institutes and companies in the near future, a technical workforce with occupational knowledge and skills at an international standard can be provided that fulfils the increasing demand for well-qualified labour of domestic and international companies. Therefore, the involvement of the business sector in the vocational training is becoming more and more essential. Only when enterprises and associations participate actively in all important steps of vocational training, namely setting of occupational standards, elaborating of appropriate curricula, provision of in-company training phases as well as testing and certification, it is possible to build a strong workforce of well-trained technicians satisfying the demands of the business sector. Hence, the employability of the graduates is increased and the living standard of technical workers improved. The highly qualified workforce is contributing to the increase in productivity and thus to the development of the country’s economy.