The Government's scheme to provide vocational training for rural workers has met a number of obstacles since being implemented three years ago, largely due to funding shortages, said reports from several provinces.

Director of central Quang Ngai province's Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Duy Nhan said funding shortages are the biggest challenge for the province.

To implement the project effectively, the province needs more than 18 billion VND (857,000 USD) per year. But last year the province was allocated just 5 billion VND (238,000 VND) from the state and provincial budgets, he said.

As a result, barely 200 out of 3,000 workers in need of training in each district had the chance to attend such classes.

"Moreover, career choices are not suitable for local workers' demands and the different requirements of areas across the province, thus workers cannot apply their knowledge after the training," said Nhan.

For instance, growing mushrooms has attracted a lot of workers as it is easy to study and put into use, but the limited access to funds makes it tough for workers to start their own farms.

Director of central Thanh Hoa province's Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Thi Thanh Xuan said many vocational trainers hesitate to join the project as they are often required to give practical guidance to trainees in localities without any pay.

"Besides, the time for training is too short so workers cannot gain enough professional skills," she said.

Typically, the embroidering trade is meticulous and sophisticated, so trainees cannot acquire these skills after only three months of studying.

To gradually resolve the difficulties, Nhan proposed offering vocational training based on enterprises' requirements.

"Each province should organise conferences to help local workers engage with enterprises to study skills which are in demand and then offer proper choices when they apply for vocational training," he said.

Vocational training schools should also study the labour market to give trainees advice, Nhan said, adding that his department will reduce the planned figures of trainees in future to avoid fund shortages.

Meanwhile, Xuan proposed organising training courses in communes instead of vocational schools to create better conditions for trainees to practise.

"Each province should give priority to training specific skills which are suitable to its economic, cultural and social conditions," said she.

After the course, trainees should have opportunities to borrow money at preferential interest rates from social policy banks to find a job or become self-employed, she said.

The vocational training project for rural workers, dubbed Project 1956, runs from 2010 to 2020 with total funding of 25.9 trillion VND (1.2 billion USD).

Last year, nearly 485,000 rural workers across the country benefited from the project, according to statistics from the General Department of Vocational Training.

This year, the project aims to train 600,000 workers, with 70-80 percent of them expected to find jobs after training.-VNA