Vietnam needs to raise workers' skills to promote tourism industry

Thanh Nien News

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Foreign tourists walk in the backpackers' area in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Thao Vi Foreign tourists walk in the backpackers' area in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Thao Vi
Skills mismatch and the relevance of skills to business needs are major concerns in Vietnam's tourism industry, experts have said. 
At a recent workshop co-organized by the General Department of Vocational Training and the International Labor Organization, a new survey has been released, pointing out that graduates from vocational schools do not meet the requirements of the industry. 
“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,” said ILO Vietnam Director Gyorgy Sziraczki.
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.
Duong Duc Lan, general director of the General Department of Vocational Training, said the training quality of some professions, including tourism, will have to reach the level of developed countries in ASEAN and the world, and a well-trained workforce is needed to lift the country’s competitiveness.
With almost 3,300 kilometers 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 ILO.
According to the Vietnam Administration of Tourism, this sector employs about 1.7 million workers, including 550,000 direct jobs.

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