While career education and vocational training is a core component in preparing students to have the knowledge and skills required for finding gainful employment after school, it is often overlooked in Vietnam (and many other countries where we work).
Tackling unemployment rates
In Bắc Hà, a rural district of Lào Cai Province in the northeast region of Vietnam and home mostly to ethnic minority groups, the youth unemployment rate is about 60%. Our project in this district is supporting sustainable livelihoods of ethnic minority youth through the improvement of employability and entrepreneurship.
We are working towards making ethnic minority youth more adaptable to the labor market needs, to strengthen partnerships between and engagement of local businesses, and to identify and support viable entrepreneurship initiatives. Our project targets youth aged 12-16 years old – many of whom are already informally employed in agriculture.
In 2019, our project initially focused on vocational training for students in all secondary schools in the target area. By increasing teachers’ knowledge and skills in career education and offering career guidance to secondary school students, we are already seeing good progress. To date, we have had seven schools participating in teaching vocational training to students in grade 8 and grade 9.
Last year, from March to October 2019, Grade 8 material was piloted across the seven schools for 689 students and received positive feedback from both teachers and students. Our latest survey revealed that 100% of students wish to continue with these lessons as they move on to the next grade. We look forward to making this a reality.