IT skills of young labour force – a must for Vietnam’s digital transformation 

July 10, 2020 | 15:28
Investing in infrastructure and enhancing the IT skills of the young labour force is a great challenge for Vietnam, urging the country to seek solutions to accelerate digital transformation.
it skills of young labour force a must for vietnams digital transformation
The Skills4Future project is equipping students for a future in IT

IT is taking the world by storm. The rate of highly skilled workers accounts for 11.6 per cent of Vietnam's workforce, which is lower than the average in Southeast Asia. Pushing for digital transformation to promote Industry 4.0, Vietnam is facing the challenge of improving IT skills to adapt to future needs, requiring significant investment in education and access.

Meanwhile, IT application is still limited due to the lack of infrastructure and equipment, especially in the rural areas of Vietnam. The story of Nguyen Thanh Huy, physics teacher and lead for creative science and technology activities at Xuan Loc High School in the southern province of Dong Nai, is an example.

Huy is the person who brought the basic programming technologies and robotics as an extracurricular activity to the school. However, since this is not a formal subject and the school has no equipment or an IT club for students yet, there is no environment for students to participate in further study and research on IT.

These difficulties, however, did not stop the passion for IT of teachers and students in Xuan Loc High School. To carry out programming projects, Huy and his students bought and ordered complex processing components or made use of the rudimentary equipment available at home to make their own simple components. By joining Skills4Future, Huy hoped the students can have a place and be equipped with the necessary facilities to further practice their IT knowledge. After only one year of study and familiarisation, some students are now able to apply their knowledge to invent practical applications. Huy's wish is to be able to create better conditions for study and practice to incessantly ignite his students’ knowledge and passion for IT.

The Skills4Future project of Microsoft is one of the solutions to help accelerate digital transformation and contribute to solving this challenge.

Similarly, Ngo Gia Tu High School in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak also encountered a lot of difficulties in teaching and applying IT, partly due to the lack of intensive curricula and partly due to being short on the necessary facilities and equipment. Currently, the school has thousands of students but only 80-90 computers, many of which are broken or malfunctioning.

“IT is an extremely important and almost mandatory skill for every citizen in the 4.0 era. I hope the club will create a playground to help students learn, exchange, and understand more about IT and get a clear view of a career in IT in the future,” said Nguyen Duc Khanh, IT teacher at Ngo Gia Tu High School. Khanh took the initiative of opening extracurricular classes to help students practice programming, study for IT exams, and equip them with the skills of a 4.0 citizen.

In order to overcome the shortage of IT facilities at the school and create better learning conditions for the students, Huy and Khanh have signed up to participate in the Skills4Future project co-organised by Microsoft and The Dariu Foundation. This project aims to create opportunities for technology access, programming through IT Clubs and IT career orientation for high school students, contributing to increasing employment opportunities for young people as well as improving the quality of future labour resources for Vietnam. This project will help create opportunities for high school students to access and experience technology and receive highly valuable IT programming training and IT career orientation that will help bolster Vietnam’s workforce of the future.

On June 13-14 and June 20-21, the project was officially launched with the first two training courses, namely "Micro:Bit Programming on Arduino" and "Methods for Club operation – Design thinking and Learning through projects".

Looking forward, Skills4Future will also support in establishing the club and provide free practical equipment; connect with mentors to support the implementation of training and experience activities at the clubs for a total of 1,000 students; support the implementation of career orientation projects, and connecting with universities, businesses, and experts in the field of technology; and award 200 IT vocational scholarships to high school students.

“Skills4Future” is Microsoft’s commitment to prepare the younger generation with advanced skillsets and capabilities and enhance the quality of Vietnam's workforce in the 4.0 era. Furthermore, it underscores Microsoft’s belief in the potentials and talents of Vietnamese people, providing the enabling tools for them to expand their skills and capabilities for better job opportunities.

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By Bich Thuy

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