Vietnam tourism in need of skills reboot in the wake of AEC


Skills mismatch and the relevance of skills to business needs are major concerns in Vietnam and across the region

Vietnam needs a skills council for tourism sector to best seize opportunities from the accelerated regional and global integration, heard a workshop co-organized by the General Department of Vocational Training (GDVT) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) on 18 June in Hanoi.

Tourism is one of the eight occupations that have been identified by mutual recognition arrangements within the ASEAN Economic Community which will be introduced at the end of this year.

Workers with adequate skills and qualification in this industry will be able to better serve the growing number of tourists or move to work in the industry elsewhere in the ASEAN region.

“To meet the socio-economic development requirements, and accelerate the international integration and mutual recognition arrangements among the ASEAN countries for labour movements in the region and in the world, Vietnam’s vocational training needs to go through a comprehensive reform and vibrant development”, said GDVT Director General Duong Duc Lan.

The training quality of some professions, including tourism, will have to reach the level of developed countries in the ASEAN and the world, and a well-trained workforce is needed to lift the country’s competitiveness, he added.

With almost 3,300 kilometres of coast line and 7.8 million international visitors a year, tourism has been one of the driving forces of Vietnam. The significant growth of this US$10.7 billion industry has been a major source of income and job creation.

According to the Vietnam Administration of Tourism, this sector employs about 1.7 million workers, including 550,000 direct jobs.

In the skills need survey with over 200 enterprises in tourism sector in central Vietnam, all employers said that graduates from vocational schools do not meet the requirements. One of the major reasons for this is weak industry participation in training activities.

“A tourism skills council involving the representatives of businesses, the Government, training institutions and other stakeholder could help identify the way forward to improve training and skills development in this promising industry in the context of economic integration and increasing competition.

Industry-level skills councils have become an important component of successful sectoral policies in many countries around the world”, said ILO Vietnam Director Gyorgy Sziraczki.