Tracer Study is an instrument for training quality assurance and improvement of TVET institutes. It provides feedback on how successfully graduates of TVET institutes are competing on the labour market, e.g. if, where and in which fields the graduates are employed and how they evaluate relevance and usefulness of the attended TVET training course for their employment in retrospect. Besides, Tracer Study supports state management agency in TVET in steering TVET system according to demands of labour market. Having realized these benefits, General Department of Vocational Training (GDVT), MoLISA, was supported by GIZ for developing a concept on Tracer Study in 2009. This was successfully piloted at 19 TVET institutes supported in the frame of Vietnamese – German cooperation in TVET. This sustainable concept has proved easy to use and not cost-intensive.
After the successful pilot phase, leaders of GDVT initiated the intention of applying this concept in a larger scale in Viet Nam. Therefore, additional 5 TVET institutes (approaching toward international and ASEAN regional standard in selected occupations) have been selected by GDVT in 2011 to implement Tracer Study according to the developed concept in the first expansion phase.
Following up and implementing the above plans, a Basic training workshop for new Tracer Study implementers of these 5 TVET institutes was organized during December, 5-7, 2011 in Hanoi to introduce the developed tool kit, steps of Tracer Study implementation, sample drawing method as well as analysis of Tracer Study data at basic level including practical part with computers. Participants highly appreciated this training for its relevance and usefulness and they were coming back to their institutes to prepare for the implementation of TS in 2012.
“The gained knowledge and skills from this training will be applied not only to carrying out TS and analyzing its data but also to the management of data about student from enrolment through graduation”, one participant shared at the end of the training.
The next training course was organized during December 9-10, 2011 for those implementers having completed basic training and actually implemented a Tracer Study. This was also the last step organized for trained implementers of 19 participating institutes under the facilitation of international expert. Results from TS implemented by these institutes showed that the study was carried out very well and this advanced training focused on analysis of data at an advanced level. For instance, analyzing regression with trend line, analyzing relationship between variables, etc. In particular, participants of the course jointly agreed on a structure for reporting about Tracer Study. It is expected that, participants completing this course will not only be able to conduct tracer study, to analyse data, but also write report for submission to institutes leaders for improvement of training quality.
While the advanced training course was conducted by an international expert, the basic course was conducted by national trainers from NIVT of GDVT who have been capacitated by the international expert. M.A Pham Xuan Thu, Vice Director of NIVT, in his opening remarks, highlighted the importance and of TVET training relevant to industry’s demands and stressed that Tracer Study is an effective monitoring instrument for assessing external effects of training process and to improve training quality. With this viewpoint, GDVT has strongly encouraged TVET institutes to implement TS as a regular activity.