Small and medium size enterprises in the tourism sector of Vietnam have difficulties getting their employees trained at an affordable cost. A replication of a Danida supported e-learning project now helps them meet the needs of the fast growing industry while providing substantial employment and foreign exchange earnings for the country.
With the introduction of the Vietnam Tourism Occupational Skills (VTOS) assessment and certification system in 2004, employees in the tourism industry of Vietnam got access to on-the-job training that meet international standards, and opportunity to qualify for nationally recognised certificates. As a result, 2600 trainers have been trained and accredited by the Viet Nam Tourism Certification Board (VTCB – http://www.vtcb.org.vn/) in several different occupations: front office; housekeeping; food and beverage service; travel operations; hotel security; Western food preparation and pastry/bakery etc.. Skill instruction videos and standard manuals for 14 Tourism Occupational Skills have been developed and 142 assessors have been trained and accredited by VTCB.
While this enormous ground work has laid the foundation for improving the quality of the human resources in the tourism industry of Vietnam, it remains a challenge for the Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SME)s to access the courses at an affordable cost.
To address this issue, a first of its kind public-private partnership was initiated on July 8th 2010 between VTCB and Online Management Training Company (OMT – http://www.omt.vn/). This unique collaboration offers short courses conducted online, based on VTOS training materials and replicating the e-learning methodology that was developed earlier by OMT for SME Exporters with support from Danida under the Business Sector Programme Support (BSPS), (E-learning solutions for Vietnamese SME Exporters).
The SMEs in the tourism industry are expected to benefit greatly from the low cost online training courses which are free of charge for the first year and are facilitated by experienced instructors with trainer certification from VTCB. The VTOS website at http://www.vtosonline.vn/ is further expected to become both a frequently-visited training portal and also a meeting place for the VTOS training community in Vietnam, including instructors, participants, employers and other interested parties, who together aspire to improve the quality of human resources and the competitiveness of the tourism industry in Vietnam.