The workshop provides an opportunity for education and training providers to exchange and share their knowledge on tourism training and vocational education based on technical materials developed by the EU-ESRT programme. This forum composed of various stakeholders from policy makers, industry’s leaders, education and training providers and private sector, who are contributing to the enhancement of tourism human resources of Vietnam.
Speaking in the workshop, Alejandro Montalban Carrasco - Head of Co-operation Section of EU Delegation to Vietnam said, “We see here in Nha Trang the construction of modern resorts with world famous hotel brands. This is an extreme positive side for the economy, however the infrastructure advancements should be complemented by strong and professional human resources for the sector to be able to provide a high professional service to tourists and to be competitive with neighbouring countries.”
The recent legislation in relation to Vocational Education and Training and Employment(became effective from July 2015) in preparation for ASEAN integration in January 2016 and its mandatory requirements to ensure that the national occupation skills standards comply with ASEAN MRA have presented Vietnam with a clear way forward in relation to the tourism sector. Addressing this context change, in the first session of the workshop, leaders and policy makers discussed the future improvement and sustainability of TVET in Vietnam, the continuation application of VTOS and a responsible transmission process to turn Vietnam Tourism Certification Board into Vietnam Tourism Professional Board.
In the second session, Education and Training providers like Kien Giang Economic - Technology College, Vietnam - Australian Vocational College and Pegasus International College shared their experiences in integrating VTOS in their curriculum, while Ha Long University presented a scientific approach to incorporate Responsible Tourism into the tourism education landscape. From an employer’s perspective, Muong Thanh Hospitality Group shared their experiences and feedback on the application of VTOS in their workplace with a presentation on “Competency-based trainings based on occupational standards”.
Commenting on the outcomes of the workshop, ESRT Team Leader Mary McKeon said “It’s now the responsibility of all the stakeholders to embrace their own important role and work collectively to strengthen tourism education and training, to enable Vietnam become a world class tourism destination with the associated human capital skills and services that meet the needs of a growing tourism sector.”
EU’S SUPPORT TO VIETNAM TOURISM HUMAN RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT
For many years there has been a significant shortfall in well-qualified staff for the tourism sector in Vietnam. In order to operate competitively in the tourism marketplace Vietnam must provide a professional tourism workforce equipped to meet the needs and expectations of the international travellers.
In response to the challenge of the shortfall in international standards in the tourism labour force, the Government of Vietnam, with assistance from the European Union, launched the Human Resources Development in Tourism Project in 2004 to design and develop occupational skills standards for the tourism industry. The project aimed to train new staff at entry level in the industry, both through the college education system and in‐company, especially for hotels and medium to large tour and travel companies. Thirteen occupational standards were developed through analysing and establishing the tasks that people performed to fulfil the requirements of a specific job.
Under the second phase of the EU support in tourism to Vietnam, the Environmentally and Socially Responsible Tourism Capacity Development Programme was tasked to expand the Vietnam Tourism Occupational Standards (VTOS) to meet the needs of a growing tourism industry, and to set internationally recognisable standards in line with the ASEAN Economic Community.
The VTOS standards developed in close collaboration with the industry members, trade bodies, colleges and government agencies meet the requirements of colleges and businesses and are also in line with MRA-TP. The formal recognition of the enhanced VTOS standards through the MCST by MoLISA will be a monumental step towards the development of a national certification system in alignment with ASEAN. The tourism industry in Vietnam requires one single tourism occupational standard system in order to gain acceptance and recognition by all stakeholders.