VN getting $70 mln loans from ADB to improve vocational training

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said Friday it was providing US$70 million in loans for a Vietnam working skill enhancement project to improve vocational training in priority industries.

The project will fund training programs in public and private vocational colleges in automotive technology, electrical and mechanical manufacturing, hospitality and tourism, information and communication technology, and navigation and shipping industries, all of which currently lack sufficient skilled workers, the Manila-based bank said.

This file photo shows a university graduation ceremony in Ho Chi Minh City. The Asian Development Bank says it is providing US$70 million in loans for a working skill enhancement project in Vietnam. (Photo: Thuy Nguyen)

Around 24,000 students are expected to benefit from the program, with about 25% of them women and members of ethnic minority groups, according to the lender.

“Vietnam’s long-term prosperity and development depends on its increasing competitiveness in regional and global markets, and if it is to expand as an industrialized country, it must develop highly skilled industrial workers,” Wendy Duncan, principal education specialist in ADB’s Southeast Asia Department, said in this Friday statement.

The project will provide management and instructor training to upgrade skills and improve planning and allocation of resources, and will also help develop new curricula and training materials, with support from the industries, according to ADB.

The lender said credit would be also made available to approved private colleges to upgrade their equipment and facilities, with institutions expected to borrow up to US$3 million to US$4 million each.

The project aims to address gender inequity by including programs in information and communication technology, hospitality and tourism where females are well represented.

These $70 million loans come from ADB’s concessional Asian Development Fund. The bank’s assistance includes a regular ADF of $50 million equivalent with a 32-year term and grace period of 8 years, with annual interest of 1% per annum during the grace period, and 1.5% for the balance of the term.

A second 32-year loan of $20 million will be made available for on-lending to private vocational colleges, with an annual interest charge of 2.22% per annum.

The Vietnamese Government will contribute US$8 million for a total project cost of $78 million, ADB said.

The Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs will be the executing agency for the project which is expected to be completed by August 2015.

By Thuy Nguyen

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