The Central Highlands needs to rapidly increase both quantity and quality of its workforce so as to meet requirements of the industrialisation and modernisation, heard a conference on vocational training and job creation in Dak Lak province on December 25.

The region, comprising Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Dak Lak, Dak Nong, and Lam Dong provinces with 45 percent of total population being ethnic minorities, is forecast to be home to 5.5 million people in 2015 and 6 million in 2020, accounting for 6 percent of the nation’s population. Of those figures, people of working age will number around 3.6 million next year and 4 million in 2020.

About 857,000 people are expected to receive training between 2011 and 2020, raising the number of trained labourers to 1.3 million in 2015 and 1.7 million in 2020, making up 41 percent and 50 percent of the workforce, respectively.

During the period, the region plans to focus on training personnel for spearhead sectors such as hydropower industry, mining, agricultural and forestry product processing, and coffee, rubber, cocoa, and cashew industries. It will also improve local workers’ capacity in finance-banking and tourism sectors.

To such ends, each province needs to have at least one vocational college which offers training on two or three vocations meeting ASEAN criteria and three to five satisfying national standards.

The regional localities are also required to re-organise the network of vocational training facilities, procure advanced equipment, raise staff quantity and quality, and devise appropriate policies supporting trainees.

A report at the conference read that more than 805,950 people in the Central Highlands secured jobs from 2005 to 2013, mostly the young in rural areas. Around 37 percent of them were trained workers.

Participants at the event suggested the Government and ministries amend vocational training policies designed for ethnic minorities, provide more funding for the work, restructure the vocational training system, and give support to vocational training facilities and ethnic minority trainees.-VNA