Participants at the GEDSI workshop at Nguyen Huu Canh College

In December 2019, AIS Global delivered a series of workshops in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam focused on improving the inclusion in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector of women, people with disabilities and the rural disadvantaged, including disadvantaged ethnic minority peoples in Vietnam.

A workshop at Nguyen Huu Canh College focused on the benefits, and informed the development of, a Gender Equality, Disability and Social Inclusion (GEDSI) strategy for the recruitment and attraction of a diverse range of students. Participants included college representatives, project champions from across industry and the VET sector and a disability expert.

This is one of three planned activities by AIS Global to build knowledge of GEDSI, develop a strategy and action plan that will be piloted at the college, and identify performance measures as part of its implementation.

AIS Global separately facilitated a session at Thu Duc College of Technology looking at building specialist skills and knowledge of reasonable adjustment for people with a disability and the socially excluded. Reasonable adjustment – a well-established principle of the Australian VET system – is the process of adjusting learning, teaching and assessment to accommodate the needs of people with disabilities without compromising course integrity. This is a new concept to Vietnamese VET trainers but one they recognise offers a way to increase participation of people with disabilities.

A personal account from disability expert, Mr Nguyen Van Cu, Vice Director-Disability Research and Capacity Development Centre, of the social and physical challenges he and others have faced resonated strongly with the discussions and supported participants’ understanding of the issues.

Thu Duc College of Technology participants outside the school

The work by AIS Global in Vietnam will continue in 2020. It will include a field visit to a local enterprise to see firsthand how reasonable adjustment is applied in the workplace and to link the training and assessment process to workplace in-situ application of adjustment for various job roles. Further support and capability building will be provided so that policy approaches by the colleges can be considered.

This is part of an Aus4Skills program, funded by the Australian Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), focused on addressing barriers for these groups to participate in learning on an equal basis where practical.

The program is aimed at establishing an industry-led approach to skills development in the VET system in Vietnam and is being piloted in the logistics sector. It positions Australia and Vietnam as partners in achieving the shared goal that Vietnam can access and use high-level professional and technical knowledge, skills and competencies to contribute to the country’s sustainable economic and social development, and enduring links with Australia.

Activities have been designed to improve the relevance and quality of skills training for the logistics industry in Vietnam. The assistance also improves access to skilled labour in overseas countries, supports greater mobility of skilled labour across the region and promotes Australian VET frameworks and products.