The workshop “Pilot cooperative training models – experiences and way ahead” was organized by the General Directorate of Vocational Training (GDVT)/MoLISA and the ‘Programme Reform of Technical and Vocational Education and Training in Viet Nam’- GIZ on 20 January 2016 in Hanoi. Participating in the workshop were leaders from GDVT and related technical departments, rectors and managers of five TVET institutes and their partner enterprises, representatives from VCCI and business associations as well as German experts. Assoc. Prof Lan, General Director of GDVT, stated that the workshop is a good opportunity for sharing experience of cooperative training and explained that, in order to bridge the gap between TVET and the demand of the economy, a cooperative training model needs to be tailored to the situation in Viet Nam. Dr. Sommer, Director of the Programme Reform of TVET in Viet Nam, added that it is important to find ways to transfer the German approach without copying or importing single elements and to involve not only German but increasingly Vietnamese companies in cooperative training models.
Representatives of five TVET institutes and their partner enterprises shared diversified experiences related to the development and implementation of the cooperative training process, the instruments used to steer and monitor the cooperative training process, to assess and certify students’ training results. Mr. Han, Head of International Cooperation Department, Hung Yen University of Technical Education, emphasized the main success factors of the cooperative training of mechatronic technicians at German enterprises which include close cooperation between stakeholders at all stages, the alinement of in-school and in-company training modules, the flexibility to adjust the training according to the production cycle, the further training of the teaching staff and in-company trainers as well as the involvement of the companies and AHK in assessment and certification. Mr. Tiep, Vice Rector, Haiphong Polytechnic College, shared his experience in the development and implementation process of the cooperative training in metal cutting in cooperation with Vietnamese and Japanese enterprises, including formalizing cooperative contracts, training of in-company trainers, assessment and certification. He informed that after implementing the cooperative training model, the enterprises confirm that the graduates meet their demands. Further approaches of cooperative training were presented by LILAMA 2, Ho Chi Minh Vocational College of Technology and Vocational College of Mechanics and Irrigation. The presentation of Mr. Hue, General Director, Bosch Vietnam on the cooperative training programme in mechatronics at LILAMA 2 and Bosch in Dong Nai illustrated how in-company training phases of 70% can equip the students with the skills required by the company and thus meet its high demand for a qualified workforce. While acknowledging the benefits of cooperative training, the workshop participants also emphasized the challenges that they are facing when developing and implementing sustainable and successful cooperative training models. The main challenge is to ensure the integration of students in a structured training process within the production in a way that they can improve their skills instead of being used as a cheap workforce. Moreover, it is challenging to improve the English language skills of students and to convince further companies of the benefits of cooperative training to increase the number of cooperation partners.
The workshop participants were engaged in active group discussions about the possible improvement of the cooperative training development process and concrete steps for optimization of the existing approaches as well as the creation of enabling conditions for enterprises’ engagement in TVET. Important lessons learnt have been drawn on how to successfully involve the economic sector and enterprises in vocational training, and recommendations were made on possible measures to continue and further develop cooperative training models. In conclusion, Dr. Sommer summarizes the importance of the articulation of enterprises’ needs in the process of standard development and their involvement in assessment as well as participation in training delivery to ensure that training takes place at the future workplace of skilled workers. The flexibility to pilot different approaches allows finding the model which works best for Viet Nam in order to upscale it in the future.