Connecting tvet institutes with enterprises - Experience after the reform of the Vietnamese tvet law

I. An overview on the major reforms of Vietnamese VET system * The reform of Vietnamese VET system According to the Education Law 2005 and Law on Vocational Training 2006, the national education system of Vietnam comprises 2 parallel vocational training qualications at both secondary level and collegial level which were improperly managed by two separate state management agencies. This caused a difculty in developing the entire VET system. As a result, the introduction of the VET Law 2014 has restructured the Vietnamese national education system and change the VET system in a comprehensive manner. The new system comprises 3 levels of vocational training: elementary, secondary, and collegial levels (Figure 1). And all these levels of vocational training are managed by a single management agency - Ministry of Labor - Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) instead of previous duplicated management structure in VET (MOLISA and Ministry of Education and Training) (Vu Xuan Hung, 2014).

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28 . Volume 63 - No.12/2018 RESEARCH, EXCHANGE CONNECTING TVET INSTITUTES WITH ENTERPRISES - EXPERIENCE AFTER THE REFORM OF THE VIETNAMESE TVET LAW VU XUAN HUNG 1 Email: hungvdtn@gmail.Com 1 Directorate of Vocational Education and Training Within the new Law on Vocational Education and Training coming into effect on 1st July 2015. many important contents have been institutionalized that change the whole education system in general and Vocational Education and Training (VET) in particular. After a brief overview of the key changes, this paper will focus on the understanding of work-based learning in VET especially the cooperation between TVET (Technical Vocational Education and Training) institutes and enterprises. I. An overview on the major reforms of Vietnamese VET system * The reform of Vietnamese VET system According to the Education Law 2005 and Law on Vocational Training 2006, the national education system of Vietnam comprises 2 parallel vocational training qualications at both secondary level and collegial level which were improperly managed by two separate state management agencies. This caused a difculty in developing the entire VET system. As a result, the introduction of the VET Law 2014 has restructured the Vietnamese national education system and change the VET system in a comprehensive manner. The new system comprises 3 levels of vocational training: elementary, secondary, and collegial levels (Figure 1). And all these levels of vocational training are managed by a single management agency - Ministry of Labor - Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) instead of previous duplicated management structure in VET (MOLISA and Ministry of Education and Training) (Vu Xuan Hung, 2014). Abstract: Keywords: Law on Vocational Education and Training, enterprises, reform Volume 63 - No.12/2018 . 29 RESEARCH, EXCHANGE * Reform of training curriculum The previous Law on Vocational Training stipulated that MOLISA is in charge of issuing frame curriculum for every occupation at intermediate and collegial level. Based on that frame curriculum, TVET institutes might be able to develop a training curriculum in detail. Now, the frame curriculum is no longer issued by the Government but developed by TVET institutes themselves based on required training outcomes and the National Qualication Framework (NQF) (Vietnamese Prime Minister, 2016). * Reform of the organization, training management If in the past, vocational education and training was organised base on time only, the VET Law now stipulates two new modes of training: module-based accumulation and credit-based accumulation. TVET institutes have the rights to select the training mode that is suitable to their conditions. * Reform of testing, examination, graduation, and certication With the new training mode, VET law denes that learners who follow the training modes of modules accumulation or credit 30 . Volume 63 - No.12/2018 RESEARCH, EXCHANGE accumulation have accumulated sufciently the modules or credits required for the respective training programmes then they can be awarded certicate without nal examination. Those who complete a training programme of the diploma level can be awarded diploma and recognised as practical engineer or practical bachelor depending on the training occupation. * Reform of policies for learners The reform of policies for learners is considered as a solution for attracting and mainstreaming learners to vocational education and training. Accordingly, learners are exempted training fee if they are: of the group of special policy; graduates of lower secondary schools (grade 9) when enrolling to the VET intermediate level; if undertaking occupations with difcult enrolment but of the society’s high demands and other occupations of special characteristics. Moreover, learners will enjoy boarding policy if they belong to ethnic minority groups, poor and pro-poor households, persons with disabilities; Kinh people of poor and pro-poor households, persons with disabilities. * Reform of policies for TVET institutes In the new VET Law, TVET institutes, regardless of their status as public or private institutions, are entitled to apply for tenders, training orders given by the State, preferential loans from domestic or international projects, fundings, participate in further training programs for trainers/teachers and management staffs from the government budget, and enjoy preferential tax rate. * Reform of policy on connecting TVET institutes with enterprises Enterprises participate in vocational education and training activity as a stakeholder may enjoy equal rights and responsibilities. Enterprises have right to establish their own TVET institutes, organize VET training programs at elementary and continuous training mode, involve in the development of occupations list/ majors, provide internship programs, develop curriculum, give training delivery on their own. Along with TVET institutes, enterprises may provide internship guidance, assess the learning outcomes, and provide collaborative training delivery at elementary, intermediate, collegial levels and continuous training mode upon orders from TVET institutes and State. In addition, enterprises are exempted from income tax for all VET-related activities they conduct. Beside these main features, VET Law also gives many other contents related to accreditation, socialization, and international cooperation in VET, etc. (Vietnam National Assembly, 2015) which contribute to an inclusive and foundational change for Vietnamese VET system. 2. The Situation of TVET institutes- enterprise linkage * The network of under-enterprise TVET institutes Up to December 2017, there were 1,974 TVET institutes nationwide including 388 colleges, 551 VET secondary schools, and 1,035 vocational training centers. However, the number of under-enterprise TVET institutes is still limited (Directorate of Vocational Education and Training (DVET), 2017). Of all 388 colleges, there were 46 colleges belong to enterprises which accounted for 11.8%; and there were 82 under-enterprise VET secondary schools accounted for 14.8% of the total number of VET schools in the country, and VET centers and other types of training centers were 355 accounted for 34.3% (Figure 2) (National Institute for Vocational Education and Training (NIVET), 2017). Volume 63 - No.12/2018 . 31 RESEARCH, EXCHANGE Figure 2. Number of under-enterprises TVET institutes (Source: Directorate of Vocational Education and Training - 2016) However, the number of under-enterprise TVET institutes stays low and yet to satisfy the training demand of the enterprise. On the other hand, these under-enterprise TVET institutes are mainly located in However, the number of under-enterprise TVET institutes is still limited. This small number cannot fully meet the training demand of enterprises. Moreover, under-enterprise TVET institutes (including colleges and TVET institutes) are normally only concentrated in certain large socio- economic areas. For example, the number of under-enterprise colleges and TVET institutes located in the Red River Delta accounted for 46.1% (59 colleges and TVET schools) of the total number of under-enterprise colleges and TVET institutes across the country, and the number of those located in the Eastern South accounted for 23.4% (30 colleges and TVET institutes) of the total under-enterprise colleges and TVET institutes (Figure 3). Figure 3: Number of under-enterprises TVET institutes by socio-economic regions 32 . Volume 63 - No.12/2018 RESEARCH, EXCHANGE * The cooperation between TVET institutes and enterprises under the changes of the new VET Law In order to obtain information on the situation of cooperation between TVET institutes and enterprises, in 2017, NIVET and Vietnam Chamber of Industry and Commerce (VCCI) jointly conducted 2 independent surveys at 79 enterprises and 88 TVET institutes (NIVET, 2017). According to the results of the survey, 32.8% of the 88 interviewed TVET institutes say that they maintain cooperation with enterprises on a regular basis; 6.9% of the surveyed TVET institutes do not maintain any cooperation with enterprises. Of the 79 surveyed enterprises, enterprises that maintain regular co-operation with TVET institutes account for only 12.3%; enterprises that do not have cooperation relationship with any TVET institutes account for 46.2% (Figure 9.1). The result of the survey shows that the percentage of enterprises which maintain cooperation with TVET institutes is not high. Figure 4: Cooperation between TVET institutes and enterprises Figure 4: Cooperation between TVET institutes and enterprises (Source: Vietnam Vocational Education and Training Report 2016) Of the 79 surveyed enterprises, the most common form of TVET cooperation is to offer internships in enterprises (25 enterprises); to inform about their requirements on learning outcomes (17 enterprises). The participation of enterprises in developing occupational standards and learning outcomes, dening occupation proles and developing training modules is very limited (2 enterprises). The level of cooperation between enterprises and TVET institutes is varied among enterprise. The majorities of enterprises only receive TVET graduates for internship and provide information on training needs. Other enterprises may get closer cooperation with TVET institutes by various ways such as receiving TVET trainees for in-company internship, organizing cooperative training with TVET institutes, assessing on the learning outcomes at TVET institutes, and jointly developing occupational skills standards, etc. (Figure.5). Volume 63 - No.12/2018 . 33 RESEARCH, EXCHANGE Figure 5: Form of cooperation between TVET institutes and Figure 5: Form of cooperation between TVET institutes and (Source: Vietnam Vocational Education and Training Report 2016) The results of the survey at 79 enterprises show that the most common reason why enterprises do not establish cooperation with TVET institutes is they do not have training needs, as responded by 44% of the surveyed enterprises. Besides this reason, 25% of the surveyed enterprises explain that they do not have any specially appointed staff to work with TVET institutes and about 15% of the surveyed enterprises say they do not know how to establish contacts with TVET institutes. Meanwhile, the survey conducted by NIVET at 88 TVET institutes discloses that 31% of the surveyed TVET institutes do not cooperate with enterprises mainly because they cannot establish contacts with enterprises; another 31% explain that enterprises do not have the need to cooperate with them. In addition, many TVET institutes do not cooperate with enterprises because they do not have special staff in charge of business cooperation (25%) (Figure.6). 34 . Volume 63 - No.12/2018 RESEARCH, EXCHANGE Figure 6: Reasons for lack of cooperation between enterprises and TVET institutes (in%) (Source: Vietnam Vocational Education and Training Report 2016) * Successful model of cooperative training between TVET institutes and enterprises. In the recent years, some cooperative training model between TVET institutes and enterprises has proved to be effective under the support of funded projects and programs, especially “Programme Reform of TVET in Viet Nam” which were piloted by (i) the Project “Vietnamese-German Vocational Training Centre-Hai Phong Vocational Polytechnic College” in metal cutting/CNC occupation; (ii) the “Cooperative Training Programme for Mechatronic Technicians of University of Technology Education (UTE) Hung Yen” in cooperation with two German companies, Messer and B. Braun; and (iii) Programme Field Activity “TVET for Skilled Workers in the Wastewater Sector” of Ho Chi Minh Vocational College of Technology (renamed College of Technology II). It can be said that these model are potent examples of strong linkage between TVET institutes and enterprises. Under these piloted training model, apart from studying at school, learners will be received for internship and get a job at the enterprise. However, these models are merely within piloting scope and yet to be replicated to the whole system. With the support of VCCI and the Nordic Union of Employers, Dong Nai College of High Technology (DCoHT) worked together with enterprises to establish quality advisory boards which aim at improving demand- oriented vocational training. The Quality Advisory Board in the Automobile Occupation was established in 2012, including teachers and technical experts from TOYOTA Bien Hoa, Ford, HUYNDAI Do Thanh and Chu Lai-Truong Hai Vocational College. In 2013, Volume 63 - No.12/2018 . 35 RESEARCH, EXCHANGE DCoHT established a Kitchen- Restaurant Quality Advisory Board with the participation of Saigon Tourist School, REX Hotel, Riverside Renaissance Hotel and Pandanus Resort. The cooperation between the college, the business sector and VET authorities through the quality advisory board is shown in the bellow gure (Figure 7). The function of the Quality Advisory Board is to advise DCoHT on identifying training needs for the present and for the next 3-5 years; identify training objectives and learning outcomes for each occupation; propose changes in the curriculum aligned with the practice demand and international standards; recommend criteria for training quality assessment; propose time and location for students’ internship and job placement; assess achieved results and suggest changes, if required. In addition, within the framework of the Vietnamese-German “Programme Reform of TVET in Viet Nam”, LILAMA 2 International Technology College is supported in providing demand-oriented qualied technical and vocational education and training based on occupational standards that were jointly developed with the business sector and are equivalent to German standards. In 2016, LILAMA 2 made a signicant step in developing occupational standards and cooperative training programmes for four industrial occupations in close cooperation with leading companies and professional associations in Viet Nam. These four occupations are “Mechatronics Technician”, “Metal Cutting-CNC Technician”, “Construction Mechanics Technician” and “Industrial Electronics Technician”. The occupational standards have been developed based on the demand of the Vietnamese business sector. German standards served as an international benchmark and were adjusted according to the needs of the Vietnamese labor market. Strong involvement of Vietnamese professional associations and more than 52 professionals of leading companies, supported by German experts, is one of the success factors. Based on the developed occupational standards, comprehensive three-year cooperative training programmes were jointly developed with relevant stakeholders. In these training programmes, LILAMA 2 plays the role of a traditional vocational college for teaching common subjects and professional knowledge. Furthermore, the College has taken the role of an inter-company training center where fundamental occupational skills are trained by qualied practical teachers in its state-of-the- art equipped workshops. Specic necessary occupational practical skills and knowledge are trained during the 3-year cooperative training programme mainly in the companies’ workshops with structured on-the-job training phases. The equivalence between the content of the occupational standards and cooperative training programmes and the corresponding 36 . Volume 63 - No.12/2018 RESEARCH, EXCHANGE German standards is conrmed by the Chamber of Skilled Crafts of Potsdam and of Erfurt, Germany. * Cooperation between state management agency, industry representative, and enterprises In order to strengthen the linkage between VET sector and enterprises on the basis of the new VET Law, DVET has signed cooperation agreements with some industry representatives, and some big enterprises to facilitate the TVET institute-enterprise linkage in training. For example, VCCI, at the role of an industry representative in Vietnam, has signed cooperation arrangements with some organizations, associations: VCCI in Ho Chi Minh City and Program Reform of TVET in Vietnam (GIZ); Vietnam Association of Small and Medium Enterprises; Vietnam Young Entrepreneurs Association; Handy Craft and Wood Industry Association of Ho Chi Minh City; Association of Vietnam Retailers; Vietnamese Association of Taiwanese Businessmen; Muong Thanh Group; etc. These abovementioned cooperation programs all put the effectiveness, the role of DVET and partnering organizations in connecting TVET institutes with enterprises as the core objective. It is a mechanism to boost the cooperation between TVET and enterprises to improve the training quality effectively, sustainably, and facilitate the participation of enterprises into VET operation. * Overall assessment on the difculties in connecting with enterprises - The legal framework on the rights and responsibility of enterprises involving in VET operation has not been introduced in practical. In fact, there is a lack of regulations in recruitment, and using trained labors in enterprises. A majority of enterprises adopts untrained labors due to the nature of manufacturing jobs and low salary ranges. - Enterprises have not provided information about their annual labor demand for state management agencies of labor and VET as per regulations of the Labor Code and the new VET Law. This leads to the fact that labor supply from TVET institutes does not meet the demand of enterprises. - On the one hand, enterprises do not actively engage with TVET institutes. On the other hand, TVET institutes stay inactive in connecting with the industry sector. Many enterprises are unaware of information, policies, and even benefits that they would get when involving in VET sector (e.g. many enterprises have not got information on income tax exemption for them when joining VET operation). - TVET institutes are yet to establish an industrial relation division to be more active in supplying trained labor workforce for enterprises. Meanwhile, a part of TVET trainees does not want to work for hard-working, on-site, or mobile jobs which contribute to lengthening the space between TVET institutes and such enterprises. 3. Some solutions to strengthen the connection between TVET institutes and enterprises The Strategy on the Development of Vietnam’s Human Resources during 2011- 2020 (Vietnamese Prime Minister, 2011) dened “connecting training institutions with enterprises, widening the modes of training delivery upon training orders required by the enterprises and attracting enterprises to join in human resources training operation (by funding training expenses, organization of in-company training, investing in facilities, etc.). The responsibilities of the enterprises towards human resources training should be institutionalized; exercising preferential policies to encourage enterprises to invest in human resources training”. In order to connect TVET institutes with enterprises in a demand-driven way, some solutions should be taken into consideration: (1) Develop a compl
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