University or Vocational Training - Making the smart choice
“Should I pursue university career path or choose technical vocational education and training instead?” “What occupation and school should I choose to match my interest, ability, and to ensure job opportunities after graduation?” These were some of the common questions raised by participating high school students and their parents during the discussions on the Open Day which took place on April 22, 2018, at the LILAMA 2 International Technology College (LILAMA 2) in Long Thanh, Dong Nai province. The Open Day attracted more than 1,200 participants including students, their parents and the management boards from high schools in Dong Nai, Binh Duong, Lam Dong provinces, LILAMA 2 alumni and current trainees as well as human resource managers from enterprises.
Responding to hesitation and worries of students when considering technical and vocational education and training, Mr Nguyen Khanh Cuong, the Rector of LILAMA 2 shared: “Entering university is not the only way to success. With technical vocational education and training, the curriculum and training quality is closely linked to the demand of the industry; trainees are not only trained according to international standards but also obtain soft skills, production management and quality management skills. Therefore, employment opportunities after graduation are very high. For example, almost graduated trainees from LILAMA 2 found training related jobs with decent income.”
Each year, up to 250,000 university graduates do not find a job, yet enterprises are struggling to find enough skilled workers to meet their demand. This mismatch is an even better argument for high school students and their parents to consider technical vocational education and training as a promising career option which meets the market demand.
As a guest speaker of the event, Mr Pham Van Thien, Human Resource Manager of Hyosung Vietnam, shared that more than half of their current staff were trained at LILAMA 2. Current recruitment experience shows that enterprises tend to seek graduates from TVET institutes as they have the relevant skills to work in the jobs offered, thanks to intensive practice-oriented training programmes. In contrast, it takes two to six months to train university graduates before they are able to perform the same job as required.
Besides consultation and discussion sessions, the participants also experienced “one day as LILAMA 2 trainee” with many practical activities like visiting the TVET institute’s modern facilities, exchange experiences with current trainees, teachers and alumni, and visiting the training workshops. With more than ten interactive booths, the event was a useful and practical experience for students and their parents, especially with only a few months before they have to make their career choice.
Ngo Thi Thuy, a grade-12 student from Nguyen Huu Canh high school shared: "I am interested in Mechatronics engineering as this job will become dominant in the future. Joining the event today, I have learnt a lot about my field of interest and realised the advantages and benefits of vocational training and education. I am also impressed by the learning environment at LILAMA 2 with its modern facilities, practice-oriented focus and close relationship with companies, which offers a lot of opportunities for trainees after graduation”.
In the school year of 2018 – 2019, LILAMA 2 will recruit around 2,000 trainees for 13 occupational fields, with many benefits such as offering free tuition free, commitment to full employment after graduation, dormitories for trainees outside the province and supporting trainees who wish to work abroad.
The event was the second Open Day held this year; the third one will be held on May 12 for grade-nine students in Dong Nai province.
“The study tour provided us with deep insights into new requirements for vocational education and training resulting from digitalisation and industry 4.0. These insights form a basis for taking next steps on further training for our teaching and management staff as well as adaptation of the training programme for the relevant occupations to meet those requirements” said Mr Nguyen Khanh Cuong – Rector of LILAMA 2 International Technology College (LILAMA 2) at the closing event of “the digitalization and industry 4.0 - TVET study tour” which took place from 06 to 16 October 2018 in Germany.
From 6 August to 8 September 2018, twelve participants including Electrics-Electronics teachers from Vocational College of Machinery and Irrigation (VCMI), Ninh Thuan Vocational College and potential in-company trainers attended a five-week training course for the occupation “Electronics technician for Energy and Building Technology” at the Hessen State Institute for Advanced Technical Training (HLFT), Germany. “With intensive practical training at HLFT and fact-finding visits to enterprises, this further training course helps us improve not only practical skills and knowledge related to the new occupation, but also how to transfer the acquired skills and knowledge to our trainees in the most effective way”, said Mr Duong Canh Toan, Head of Electrics-Electronics Department from VCMI.