The 4th Industrial Revolution introduces the interconnection of industrial production processes and modern information technology. Physical systems communicate and cooperate both with each other and with humans in real time via the internet. Especially for countries like Viet Nam, the implications of the Industry 4.0 can present considerable challenges for the labour market and TVET. Possible scenarios and necessary adjustments of the vocational training system of Viet Nam were discussed by German and Vietnamese experts at the third Viet-Duc Alumni-Talk 2017 on the topic “TVET today, 4th Industrial Revolution tomorrow – Possible implications for the labour market and TVET in Viet Nam” organized by Goethe-Institut, DAAD, the German Embassy and GIZ on 14 September 2017.
The input presentation of Dr Horst Sommer, Programme Director and Ms Lisa-Marie Kreibich, Technical Advisor of the GIZ Programme Reform of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Viet Nam on the general assumptions and predicted implications of Industry 4.0 for the labour market and the necessary adjustments of TVET led to a lively discussion between the alumni and the panelists. The presenters explained that in order to keep up with the pace of technological change of the 4th Industrial Revolution, flexibility of TVET institutes must be ensured. TVET institutes need to be able to quickly react to changing requirements by developing and adjusting training offers according to the needs of the industry. A close cooperation with the business sector is the most promising way to develop such employment relevant training offers which reflect the latest technological changes.
Dr Pham Vu Quoc Binh, Director of the Vietnamese Vocational Education and Training Accreditation Agency of the Directorate for Vocational Training (DVET) shared that the Vietnamese government is preparing to meet the challenges of the 4th Industrial Revolution. By 2020, TVET institutes will be autonomous which will allow them to better meet the faster changing demands of the business sector by independently developing training offers in closer cooperation with the local industry. In order to successfully implement the autonomy, Dr. Horst Sommer highlighted, it is necessary to reduce the micro-management and over-regulation of TVET institutes by the authorities.
Reacting to questions from the audience, Dr Horst Sommer stated that a close cooperation with the business sector is a must to keep up with the technological changes. Potential future employers need to have a decisive say in defining occupational standards and training programmes because only the industry can articulate the needed skills. The business sector also needs to be involved in designing the process of assessment and certification. This kind of set-up allows for employment-relevant training offers which reflect the latest technological developments and are accepted by the business community. Additionally, a close cooperation between TVET institutes and companies in the training provision can lead to well-defined practice-oriented training phases in the company and thus gives the trainees the opportunity to acquire relevant skills directly in the real world of work using the latest technologies.