Community-based job training was helping rural people improve their skills and income, said General Department of Vocational Training director Nguyen Tien Dung.
HA NOI —
"Community-based training for rural Economic Empowerment" (CB-TREE) was a pilot project implemented in central Ha Tinh Province since 2009 with European Union funds and co-ordination by the International Labour Organisation, central and local authorities and civil organisations. It encouraged the participation of farmers, social and economic agencies.
Formal job training in Viet Nam's vocational schools faced difficulties in meeting market demands but informal training of rural people faced more challenges due to their limited skills and awareness, Dung said.
Nguyen Van Son, director of the Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs of Ha Tinh Province, where about 400 people in two local communes benefited from the project, said 65 per cent of the beneficiaries claimed their income increased after they took training courses and then became self-employed or sold their products to companies involved in the project.
"Following the CB-TREE approach, local authorities and project co-ordinators first made comprehensive survey about training need of local people as well as market demand for potential products. Then, we offered suitable courses about skills, business and confidence building," he said.
The participation of local authorities, civil associations and companies was the key to the success of the project. Farmers could now take extra jobs to earn more money in their home towns instead of moving to urban areas or abroad to look for jobs.
One of the beneficiaries, Tran Thi Thanh, from the province's My Loc Commune, said she learnt to make lanterns and sold them to a company for about VND20,000 (US$1) each, which gave her a stable income and the opportunity to stay home and take care of her family.
"Many people, mostly women in my commune, went to Thailand to work, Thanh said, so we hoped lantern making would be a good solution to attract local workers and those who are working overseas," she said.
Thai Dai Phong, director of Duc Phong Company, a bamboo/rattan handicraft producer, based in central Nghe An Province, said that since 2001, the company had offered job training to thousands of rural households, providing them with skills, materials and designs and then bought their products for export.
"Investing in skills development, knowledge building and training are key issues for the competitiveness of Viet Nam," said Rie-Kieldgaard, director of the ILO Office in Viet Nam.
"The quality of human and the social capital determines economic performance. Skills and knowledge are engines of economic growth and social development."
Rie-Kieldgaard said the CB-TREE method had been applied globally but it had had to adapt to localities' socio-economic situation, demand and policies.
In Viet Nam, it had satisfied an urgent need to match qualified job seekers with employers' requirements through a partnership with public and private sector institutions, she said. — VNS