The launch of the US$2-million Vietnam Workforce for an Innovation and Start-up Ecosystem (WISE) project in the 2021-23 period will support the country’s National Strategy on the fourth Industrial Revolution to advance continued economic transformation.
The project was officially launched by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Innovation Center under the Ministry of Planning and Investment on October 1.
It is expected to promote the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) at Vietnam’s doorstep to creating immense opportunities and challenges for upscaling and reskilling the workforce to take advantage of new technologies, which in turn will advance and build new competitive advantages. Covid-19 has accelerated the movement to digital businesses and transformation, making it even more imperative to retool workers for the digital economy and the new normal.
Vietnam's innovation has entered a new stage that requires a lot of in-depth investment to create innovative, high-quality and global-level startups, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Duy Dong told the event.
He added, to do this, human resource development is identified as an important base, however, the workforce in the fields of information technology, computer engineering, and automation has not yet met the needs of the market.
“In order to improve labor productivity, efficiency and utilize the new competitive advantage of the economy, Vietnam needs to train and retrain domestic workers, meet the needs of the economy in the digital era, and adapt to the new normal,” Dong underlined.
The cooperation between the NIC and the USAID to carry out the project is absolutely necessary and timely to improve the quality of human resources for Industry 4.0 and towards Vietnam’s digital economy.
Vu Quoc Huy, NIC’s Director said the project will support scalable, market-driven, and sustainable models to prepare Vietnam’s workers for 4IR via partnerships with the private sector. It will build basic digital literacy, provide 4IR career pathways information to make smart talent investments, provide information and communication technologies, upskilling/reskilling for lifelong learning, and explore innovative financing mechanisms for 4IR skills acquisition.
“We hope that partners, training facilities, and businesses in need will participate in the project, seek cooperation opportunities in common goals, and improve the quality of human resources in Vietnam,” Huy added.
Pham Quang Vinh, the USAID WISE Project Director in Vietnam, said: “The project builds an open forum that connects interested parties and is able to contribute to human resource training, search opportunities for cooperation to achieve the set goals.”
He underlined the project will support the country’s efforts to emphasize 4IR skills development opportunities to all demographics by devoting a special focus on women and vulnerable groups and help narrow the country’s digital divide.
This priority is consistent with the USAID Digital Strategy and will deliver long-term impact in Vietnam through an information and communication technology sector that features leaders, coders, designers, and technicians that advance the use and development of 4IR as it takes root across the country’s economy.
At the launch event, USAID/Vietnam Mission Director Ann Marie Yastishock said: “USAID WISE showcases the US Government’s commitment to partnering with Vietnam along with its economic transformation, and will help advance this strategy, which centers on mastering and integrating new advanced technologies, spurring innovation, and accelerating the growth of the digital economy.”
The MIC will be the key Government of Vietnam partner for USAID WISE and the project will build the capacity of the NIC and associate government agencies in human resource development to enable them to work effectively on upskilling and reskilling the workforce for innovation.