The French Agency for Development officially delivered 25 million euros (US$32.3 million) of financial aid for vocational training in Vietnam on Friday.
Michel Sapin, French Minister of Labor, Employment, Vocational Training and Social Dialogue, who was visiting Vietnam, signed the agreements with Vietnam Finance Minister Vuong Dinh Hue.
The support includes a 500,000-euro grant to provide long term technical assistance and 24.5 million euros in concessionary loans to finance the purchase of equipment and the hiring of short-term expertise.
The Vietnam government is contributing 4 million euros to the program, which aims to provide courses in welding, metal cutting, telecommunications, automotive manufacturing, industrial electricity, as well as teacher training and curriculum development at five vocational training schools nationwide.
The benefactors are the Lilama Technical and Technology Vocational College 2 in the southern province of Dong Nai outside Ho Chi Minh City, the Vocational College of Agriculture Mechanics in the northern province of Vinh Phuc, Viet Xo Electromechanical Construction Vocational Training in the northern province of Ninh Binh, Dung Quat Vocational College of Engineering and Technology in the central province of Quang Ngai, and Nghi Son Vocational Training Secondary School in the northern province of Thanh Hoa.
Dong Nai and Vinh Phuc schools will be turned into world-class vocational centers.
The program will provide training to more than 3,000 people each year.
Vietnam has around 1,200 vocational training schools and centers, either state-owned or privatized, where the total number of students has increased from one million in 2001 to more than 1.9 million last year.
The French agency (Agence FranÃ§aise de Dévelopment - AFD) already spent 12.8 million euros on its first vocational training support in Vietnam. The project, completed in 2009, benefited four schools in Ho Chi Minh City, Dong Nai, Hai Phong and Vinh Phuc.
AFD has been operating in Vietnam since 1994 as the main channel of official development assistance (ODA) on behalf of the French Government. It has supported Vietnam with 1.38 billion euros spread over 69 different projects.
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