Short-term courses, long-term benefits

A mere supplier of skilled workforce to the industrial sector and thereby unable to respond effectively to the needs of sustainable operation of wastewater plants is one of the biggest challenges for the wastewater sector in Viet Nam. To tackle the skilled labor shortage problem, in addition of formal training education for “Sewage Engineering Technician”, Field of Activity 3: TVET for Skilled Workers in the Wastewater Sector in collaboration with the Vietnam Water Supply and Sewerage Association (VWSA) have conducted short-term training courses for operators and technicians in wastewater companies. 

From April 17th to April 19th, 2008, VWSA and Field of Activity 3 piloted the Basic Course C1: “Operation of Drainage Systems” for technicians from Water Supply Sub-Association of the Central Region of Vietnam. The course trainers are experienced in-company trainers from large wastewater companies in KhanhHoa, Can Tho, Ba Ria-Vung Tau and Ho Chi Minh City. These in-company trainers are well-equipped with technical expertise and further training on didactic instruction in alignment with German standards provided by the Field of Activity 3. A sewage expert, Frank Lieber from the Dresden Sewage (SEDD), German supported in-company trainers in designing and delivering the course in the most effective way.

The content of the Basic Course C1 focuses on the basic knowledge of operating drainage systems, including foundation knowledge about wastewater types such as nature, origin, volume of wastewater; sanitation, drainage inspection; operating the pump station; labor safety and accident prevention. The course objective is to deliver critical skills, knowledge and competence in a concise and effective way to technicians who are currently operating drainage systems but have not been sufficiently trained or have lack practical experience. 

For course preparation, in-company trainers and Mr. Frank Lieber paid a visit to Ho Chi Minh pump stations and some drainage sewers. This fact-finding visit provided a solid background for tailor-made materials based on the needs and current situations of Viet Nam wastewater sector. Frank Lieber, who has worked in the sewage sector in Germany, Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina for 35 years, shared programs and materials that have been successfully applied in Germany for many years. Vietnamese - German team then conducted a critical appraisal of the appropriateness of these materials designed for the course. Other key factors that also be considered in this evaluation are the suitability of climatic conditions, infrastructure and equipment technology in Viet Nam. In addition to customize the content according to the company&;s own need, the curriculum is incorporated with the global latest technologies in sewages sector that are applicable in Viet Nam. 

The basic training course C1 "Operation of Drainage Systems" is a short-term training in which trainers work closely with wastewater treatment companies and VWSA to tailor content to suit company&;s need. On top of that, the course can be fitted around a company work schedules, helping to reduce disruption and provide a simple way to balance workloads. The Certificate of Attendance for the Basic Course C1 “Operation of Drainage Systems” endorsed by Viet Nam Water Supply and Sewerage Association will be awarded to trainees upon the successful completion of the End of Course test.  

During the period of 2016-2017, VWSA in collaboration with TVET has developed and piloted several nationwide short-term training courses such as Operation of Wastewater Treatment Plants; Nitrogen and Phosphorous Elimination; Malfunctions & Operational Management On Sewage Treatment Plants. The success of previous courses paved the way for VWSA and Field of Activity 3 further developed training courses in other aspects including Occupational Health and Safety which will be conducted in second half of the year 2018. The ultimate goal of training series is to reduce the shortage of skilled labor by increasing individual knowledge and skills throughout short-term courses. While raising the competent levels of sewage engineering technicians, these courses are expected to bring long-term benefits and positive changes for both companies and wastewater sector.

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