Reforming vocational education

Programme description

Title: Reforming technical and vocational education and training in Viet Nam
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) 
Country: Socialist Republic of Viet Nam
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA)
Overall term: 2008 to 2014 (2017)


Viet Nam aims to develop into an industrialised country by 2020, following a path of ‘green’ growth. Vocational education is central to this aspiration; the demand for skilled workers is increasing steadily as the country’s economy continues to grow, new technical challenges emerge and Viet Nam pursues regional and international competitiveness. There is a shortage of skilled workers and technicians with practice oriented vocational qualifications, yet around 1.4 million people enter the labour market each year. Only about 27% of workers currently have training relevant to the jobs they do, while just 15% have completed formal vocational training.

The Government of Viet Nam has, therefore, put vocational skills training and boosting employment at the heart of its development goals. Its plan is that by 2020, trained skilled workers will make up 55% of the labour force, compared with the current figure of 30%. At the same time, vocational training should become more closely oriented to the needs of a green economy.


The training available for the labour force in Viet Nam has improved and has been adapted to meet the needs of a green and sustainable economy.


The programme is cooperating with its Vietnamese partners to implement comprehensive reforms to vocational education. It provides policy and system advisory services and supports selected training institutions in improving the quality of the training they offer, and in building up a network of competence centres for vocational training.

With the involvement of the business community, strategies for practice-oriented vocational training that can be applied at a regional level have been developed and implemented. These also include the use of cooperative forms of training and the development of an independent examinations system.

Support for vocational training institutions focuses on the further development of courses aimed at dynamic sectors of the economy. The programme bases its activities on the country’s green growth strategy. Measures include practically oriented further training courses for teachers and trainers, advisory services for school managers, the adaptation of existing courses and the development of new ones, and the modernisation of equipment.

Results achieved so far

The programme has helped to significantly improve the provision of needs-oriented and practically based vocational training.

  • Among others, more than 200 multipliers have benefited from additional training (teaching and management staff of the vocational training institutions, as well as experts and managers with the partner authority).
  • Some 90% of those graduating from the supported training institutions, completing courses promoted by the programme in metalwork, electro-technology and mechatronics, have already found employment.
  • The advisory services addressing the teaching staff, private-sector cooperation, professional standards and the financing of vocational education have contributed to amendments to the vocational training legislation.
  • The value of vocational training is now more highly appreciated. Photo exhibitions and careers advice reaching thousands of young people and their parents have contributed to this.