Dr. Nguyen Cao Tri: Cooperating with the private sector to develop human resources in Tourism

(Van Lang, December 16th, 2019) - In this morning, Sai Gon Giai Phong newspaper published an article written by Dr. Nguyen Cao Tri - Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Van Lang University in the Section of Ho Chi Minh City Forum - Listening about “Cooperating with the private sector in human resources development in Tourism.”

A manpower shortage

Tourism is evaluated as an industry that needs two to three times as much manpower as other key industries (such as education, health, finance, etc.). For Ho Chi Minh City, a major tourism center, especially with great potential for MICE tourism (a type of tourism combining conferences, seminars, exhibitions, events, and tours rewards that companies give their employees), from now until 2020, the annual workforce demand is around 21,600 employees.

Of the total trained manpower, the elementary level of vocational education accounts for 43% in 2015 and about 43.5% in 2020; the intermediate level is about 27.5% in 2015 and 25.5% in 2020; the labor force with college and university degree accounts for about 28.5% in 2015 and 29.5% in 2020; the post graduate degree is over 1% in 2015 and about 1.5% in 2020. In particular, the percentage of manpower fostered to raise vocational level and working skills of the total trained manpower of the Tourism industry is about 35% - 40% in the period from 2011 to 2015 and about 30% - 35% in the period from 2016 to 2020. 

However, according to the current labor surveys in the Tourism industry, Vietnam’s manpower has not met the requirements of integration, development and competition in the world, especially in the advanced service sector (standards of 3 to 5-star rated hotels or more). The advanced service sector is highly competitive, but Vietnam’s manpower still lacks many global management skills and management skills of specific value chain in the industry such as the accommodation and catering establishments, tourist transportation companies; tourism organizers related to MICE, nature, culture, heritage, sports and adventure travel; handicrafts and retail, and assistive technology companies.

Vietnam’s tourism labour market has a wide variety of requirements and skill levels. The tourism industry ranges from complex requirements for many products and five - star services to very diverse demands in small and informal business areas. Developing Vietnam’s tourism human resources needs to identify and prioritize recommendations about clear strategies with the unique value proposition for each segment. That is a prioritized and focused approach which puts all the resources into fulfilling the itinerary according to the priority.

vlu develop human resources in TourismTourism students of Van Lang University went on a field trip to the Opus Saigon Restaurant - a symbol of upscale cuisine in Ho Chi Minh City (November 8th, 2019). They could see first-hand and listen to explanation about the layout of a dining table in different styles here.

Forming a “sample” project 

We can consult the model of human resource development in tourism of some Southeast Asian countries in cooperation with William Angliss Institute (Australia) - one of the world’s top human resource training institutes. In Indonesia, William Angliss Institute in collaboration with the Australian Aid Foundation - the ASEAN Secretariat established and focused on developing the national training system in tourism and skills such as: developing industry-based competency standards, evaluating human resources training, and studying ASEAN tourism investment with investment recommendations. 

In Singapore, William Angliss Institute was invited by the Government of Singapore to establish a Tourism Continuing Education & Training (CET) Centre in order to provide official government - sponsored courses for Singaporeans. William Angliss Institute Singapore also actively trains students in the fields of hotels, events and tourism.

Obviously, the Government of Indonesia and Singapore are flexible in different collaborative approaches with the leading international partners, based on the priority of the strategy of developing human resource for tourism. This is an important lesson for Ho Chi Minh City to develop its tourism industry. In particular, Ho Chi Minh city can invite all domestic and international companies to consider and join in with a clear mechanism of rewards, punishment, benefits and investment. This method of invitation can be done through the funding mechanism (Ho Chi Minh City’s fund of tourism development, for example), forming a platform to attract the desired resources to invest in tourism in general and develop the human resources of tourism in particular. 

Another example is the program of human resource development (one of seven breakthrough programs in Ho Chi Minh City in the term 2015-2020), or the program to attract special talents for the city which is also being carried out by Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee. These programs can be totally expanded for private partners to join for the common goal of the city’s tourism development. New and famous businesses are also the key for the prosperity of Vienam’s tourism industry in the future. They will create high value added to the global tourism industry, including some of the fastest growing specialized fields such as spa or health-care, golf, casinos, sports, etc.

In order to specify the above idea, we suggest creating a development program for 2-3 key projects for tourism manpower of Ho Chi Minh City with a cooperative mechanism between the Public and Private sectors. A successful implementation of some projects like that not only creates a “model success” for tourism of a specific locality, but also creates an important pioneer in the way of doing, the way of implementation, which forms investment coalitions for the country’s tourism industry.

Vlu has cooperated with a famous Australian Institute aWithin the framework of the visit to the Australian Government by the Secretary of Ho Chi Minh City's Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan on December 2nd, 2019, Dr. Nguyen Cao Tri - Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Van Lang University signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Mr. Nicholas Hunt - William Angliss Institute's Chief Executive Officer. This MoU focuses on pratical contents for the development of high-end tourism training in Vietnam.

The majors of Tourism Faculty of Van Lang University

The Faculty of Tourism of Van Lang University is one of the perennial and prestigious training units in the tourism industry with the aim of providing high-quality human resources who are sensitive to new trends and meet the recruitment demands of Vietnamese and foreign enterprises towards ASEAN and International Integration. 100% of the Faculty’s lecturers have master or doctoral degrees who were trained and graduated from French or Australian universities, etc.

The Faculty of Tourism of Van Lang University currently trains two majors: Tourism and Travel Services Management, and Hospitality Management. The Faculty has 3 training programs for students to choose: the standard program, the honor training program, the French-Vietnamese dual diploma program, the intensive English program.

The Faculty is an active member of The Francophone University Association (Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie, AUF), and HCMC Tourism Association; the Faculty has close relationship with tourism companies, hotels in Ho Chi Minh City such as Ben Thanh Tourist, Sheraton Saigon hotel, Park Hyatt hotel, Saigontourist, Viet Premier, Intercontinetal hotel, Viettravel, etc.; it also collaborates in training and researching with universities in the world: Perpignan University, Toulouse III University, La Réunion University (France); Prince of Songkla University (Thailand); Cadi Ayyad University (Morocco); UQÀM University (Canada); Griffiths University (Australia), etc.

vlu develop human resources in Tourism a“Tourism Business Simulation” week is a main course of the last-year students of Hospitality Management and Tourism & Travel Services Management of Van Lang University. This is an important and special training activity of the Faculty of Tourism to help students strengthen the knowledge of the entire course and experience the actual service business environment.

Source: Dr. Nguyen Cao Tri - 
Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Van Lang University

Translated by: Nguyen Ngoc Truc Vy
Checked by: Nguyen Thi Huynh Loc

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