HA NOI, VIET NAM (12 December 2018) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $78 million financing package to help Viet Nam’s labor force meet market demands by improving the quality of national technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions.
The Skills and Knowledge for Inclusive Economic Growth Project, supported by a $75 million loan from ADB, will provide advanced training equipment to 16 national TVET institutes. In collaboration with the business community, these upgrades will enhance the quality of training programs for advanced skills in key growth areas, such as electronics, mechanics, biotechnology, automation, and automotive.
In addition, a $3 million grant financed by the Government of Japan will complement these activities by strengthening the quality of the so-called soft skills—such as the ability to communicate, teamwork, and problem-solve—and developing demand-driven short-term skills programs for women and youth in disadvantaged communities.
“With more than 60% of the population under age 35, Viet Nam has the potential to help deliver high and sustainable economic growth,” said ADB Senior Social Sector Specialist Ms. Sakiko Tanaka. “To help realize this potential, this project aims to help ensure Viet Nam’s labor force has the skills and knowledge necessary to increase their competitiveness and productivity for the global market.”
Viet Nam has enjoyed sustained economic growth in recent years, becoming one of the fastest growing economies in Southeast Asia. But the country is currently facing a shortage of skilled labor, and its labor productivity is lower than its neighbors in Southeast Asia—7.5% of Singapore’s and 17% of Malaysia’s in 2015, for instance. A survey by Viet Nam’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry said TVET graduates lack industry-specific skills and other soft skills.
The project is expected to benefit about 75,000 students by improved teaching and learning environment. At least 2,500 adults and out-of-school youths are expected to take part in short-term skills training courses to help them find better-paying jobs or start their own businesses.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2017, ADB operations totaled $32.2 billion, including $11.9 billion in cofinancing.