Digitalisation and Industry 4.0 requires increased flexibility of the TVET system and a closer cooperation with the business sector

As an important part of the APEC Vietnam 2017, the Workshop on Skill Education & Training and Social Protection in the Digital Age commenced this morning at the National Convention Centre in Ha Noi. The workshop gathers many significant policy-makers, scholars and educators from Vietnam and APEC countries. In his opening remarks, Mr. Doan Mau Diep, Vice Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs of Viet Nam, emphasized that the education and training system of Vietnam as well as APEC countries should be well adapted to make the best of the opportunities and efficiently handle the risks that digitalisation and Industry 4.0 might bring about.

Dr Horst Sommer, Director of the Programme Reform of TVET in Vietnam (GIZ), was invited to be the key note speaker of the workshop by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA). His presentation titled “Impacts of Digitalisation and Industry 4.0 on the World of Work, Skills Education and Training and Social Protection: Blessing or Curse for TVET?” attracted great attention of the participants and led to a lively discussion about the general assumptions, implications and predicted impacts for the labour market, the change processes in specific sectors and challenges for TVET in Viet Nam.

In his presentation, Dr Horst Sommer emphasised the necessity for flexibility in the development and implementation of TVET offers as well as in assessment and the need to closely cooperate with the business sector. Dr Sommer highlighted that flexibility needs to be ensured through regulating as little as possible and only as much as necessary. Additionally, occupational standards should state the main learning outcomes, while flexibility should allow adjusting the occupational standards and training programmes more regularly in closer cooperation with the business sector. This implies reducing the micro-management and over-regulation by the authorities and allowing TVET institutes to flexibly develop training programmes according to the ever quicker changing demands of the business sector.

Dr Horst Sommer stated that a close cooperation with the business sector is a must, as a part of the business sector already prepares for Industry 4.0. This indicates the need for the business sector, including sector associations and potential future employers, to have a decisive say in defining occupational standards and training programmes, designing the process of assessment and certification. Dr. Sommer concluded that this kind of set-up allows for employment-relevant training offers, accepted and recognised by the business community which is closely related to technology development. A close cooperation between TVET institutes and companies in the training provision (cooperative training) can lead to well-defined practice-oriented training phases in the company where trainees have the opportunity to learn in the real world of work.


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