Challenges and solutions of steering the labour market towards a green economy were discussed among ASEM members and partner organisations at the ASEM Conference – Green Skills for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth organised by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) of Viet Nam on 27 and 28 October in Hanoi.
Representatives of Viet Nam, Deputy Minister of MoLISA Mr Doan Mau Diep, as well as of Laos and Romania, chairing the meeting, emphasized the strong commitment of the ASEM members to promote green skills for sustainable and inclusive growth. Following the presentation of Mr Phu Huynh of the ILO who recommended promoting green skills for women in science and technology, core and technical skills for young people in rural areas as well as the transition of informal workers to the formal labour market, Dr Horst Sommer, Director of the Vietnamese-German “Programme Reform of TVET in Viet Nam”, highlighted the key role of a qualified workforce for achieving the targets of Viet Nam’s Green Growth Strategy. Dr Sommer focused on the importance of ensuring the employment-relevance of vocational training and the resulting need to engage future employers in defining qualitative and quantitative green skills needs, in adapting existing training programmes and developing new skills profiles, in implementing the training programmes as well as in testing and assessment. Also, TVET institutes should act as role models for eco-friendliness to achieve a change of mindset among students, teaching and management staff, partner companies and communities. Dr Vu Xuan Hung, Director of the National Institute of Vocational Training (NIVT), also highlighted the importance of changing the mindset and culture in Viet Nam regarding environmental protection and green growth. This goes hand in hand with capacity development of teaching and management staff in TVET. Dr Nguyen Thi Hang, Rector of the Ho Chi Minh Vocational College of Technology (HVCT), shared the experience of developing and piloting a new training programme for the green occupation “sewage engineering technician” in close cooperation with wastewater companies and the sector association. Further examples and best practices from other countries, such as Switzerland, the Philippines, Great Britain, Thailand and Finland, enriched the discussions and exchange.