A fully-automatic robotic production line at a Vinamilk factory in My Phuoc 2 Industrial Park in Binh Duong Province. (Photo: VNA)
 
HCM City (VNA) - Vocational education and training must be reformed to meet the requirements of the fourth industrial revolution, experts said on May 25 at a meeting held in HCM City.

Lam Van Quan, rector of the HCM City Technical and Economic College, said the fourth revolution would impact every aspect of how people live and work, bringing productivity benefits and cutting labour costs.

However, the labour market will face serious challenges, he added.       

Quan said that vocational education training should focus less on theory and more on practical knowledge.

“Skills we learned in formal education are becoming irrelevant. Employees should be prepared to completely ‘reskill’ themselves,” he said.

Tran Anh Tuan, deputy director of HCM City’s Human Resources Forecast and Labour Market Information, said that vocational education and training would be critical in meeting the new demands of the industrial revolution.

“The biggest weaknesses of Vietnamese workers, including those with professional vocational training, are soft skills, foreign languages and professionalism,” he said.

In such a new workplace, labour-intensive work will be less needed, while critical thinking and creativity will be more important.  

Nguyen Thanh Nam, rector of online FUNiX University, said employees would have to master technological devices, the Internet of Things (IoT) and communication and problem-solving skills.

With science and technology evolving so rapidly, many vocational training programmes are lagging behind, he said.  

“Learning should occur in a more creative environment that allows employees to show they can be innovators,” he added.

The first industrial revolution used water and steam power to mechanise production, while the second was about shifting to electric power and making machinery. The third saw a breakthrough in the use of electronics and information technology to automate production.

The fourth revolution is expected to create a wide range of new technologies and products as a result of associations between physics, digitalisation and biology. It is also expected to create connections between real and virtual worlds, changing all industries, manufacturing and management systems.

The nature of the revolution will be the creation of virtual information-based networks to connect human beings, machinery and the real world through the five senses, as in the IoT.-VNA