Sharing best practices: experts from Vietnam, India, and Sri Lanka exchange on skills development for the renewable energy sector

On October 19, 2023, a technical workshop on “Skills development in the renewable energy (RE) sector” took place in Ninh Thuan province attracting over 70 participants from local authorities in Ninh Thuan as well as neighboring provinces, DVET representatives, high-quality TVET colleges, leading enterprises and many experts from the sector. The workshop was visited by representatives from the Ministry of Education, the Vocational Education and Training Council, the Sector Skills Council for Green Jobs, the Power Sector Skills Council Energy, the Automotive Skills Council as well as GIZ technical experts from India and Sri Lanka. The technical exchanges and practical insights among these three countries provides valuable experience and promises to pave the way for Ninh Thuan, a province committed to harnessing its RE potential.

As Vietnam’s renewable energy sector experiences dynamic growth over the past four years, Ninh Thuan has emerged as a forerunner, particularly in wind and solar power. This development offers abundant opportunities, but it also necessitates a skilled labor force equipped to meet the sector’s evolving demands. “Energy transition is an inevitable trend in sustainable energy development, bringing practical economic, social, environmental, and energy security benefits. However, energy transition also poses questions about ensuring training and skills enhancement for the workforce, seeking equitable employment opportunities, maintaining livelihoods, and ensuring stable lives for all labor groups,” emphasised Mr. Tran Duc Long, Deputy Director of the Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs of Ninh Thuan Province.

To address these multifaceted challenges, official mechanisms that facilitate stakeholder engagement, notably businesses collaborating with training institutes for program design, implementation, and assessment, are crucial. This includes the skills council mechanism. Ninh Thuan is a pioneering province applying this mechanism through the establishment of Provincial TVET Council, with technical assistant from the Vietnamese – German Programme “Reform of TVET in Viet Nam II” through the support of the Ninh Thuan Vocational College, and the the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry – Ho Chi Minh city branch. This model plays an essential role in strengthening the cooperation between the labor market and TVET sector, as well as developing high-quality human resources for the province and the region.

The skills council model, globally acknowledged for its practicality, with unites representatives from employers, government bodies, TVET institutes, professional associations, trade unions, and specialized agencies played a role in strategically advise on skills development policies, enhance sector-specific competencies, provide labor market information support, and forecast skills demand, etc. to ensure that training is aligned with the needs and trends of the market. Such collaboration is essential, particularly in the context of the global shift towards green skills and employment.

Mr. Nguyen Phan Anh Quoc, Rector of Ninh Thuan Vocational College (NTVC), Head of the Renewable Energy Task Force of the Provincial VET Council of Ninh Thuan, affirmed: “At Ninh Thuan Vocational College, the close collaboration with various stakeholders, particularly private sector is vital. We focus on this collaboration through the cooperative training, Industry Advisory Boards and the Renewable Energy Task Force. Along with that, the enhancement of the quality of TVET teachers and training equipment/facilities are also prioritised by the college to ensure that graduates have both technical and soft skills to meet the labor market’s demands.”

At the workshop, experts representing the different Skills Councils, TVET education agencies in India and Sri Lanka and NTVC presented their experiences in operating sector skills councils, Centers of Excellence in Renewable Energy, Provincial TVET council and its RE taskforce. Delegates also engaged in in-depth discussions on successful skills council models, skills needs assessment studies in the three countries Vietnam, India and Sri Lanka in the panel discussion on “Skills Gaps in RE workforce”. These are valuable lessons learnt for Vietnam in general and Ninh Thuan province in particular as they take the first steps towards improving the quality and readiness of the labor force for the RE sector..

The event was organised by the Provincial TVET Council in Ninh Thuan province and Ninh Thuan Vocational College, with technical support from the Programme “Reform of TVET in Viet Nam”. The Programme is commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in cooperation with the Vietnamese Directorate of Vocational Education and Training (DVET) under the Ministry of Labour – Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA). The programme aims to better align TVET to the changing world of work which will be increasingly digital and green.

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