Last updated: Tuesday, March 26, 2019


Manager Training Program of the German Government: Very Productive for Vietnamese Businesses

Posted: Wednesday, January 09, 2019

“Although specific data have not been fully analyzed, the alumni report showed that 30 - 40% of trainees got specific agreements and contracts during their course of learning. Many businesses with employees attending this program continuously sent candidates to apply for interviews and assigned them to attend the program if they passed their interviews,” Mr. Hoang Quang Phong, Vice President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), said about the Manager Training Program of the German Government for Vietnamese enterprises.

This program is administered by the German Federal Ministry of Economies and Technology (present-day Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy) and the Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment, and implemented by the German Development Cooperation Agency (GIZ) in cooperation with the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) from 2008 to present.

The Manager Training Program in Vietnam completed four stages of 3-year phase-outs and is currently at the end of the fourth stage from 2017 to 2019. For Germany, the program has been carried out with 19 participating countries with the aim of supporting businesses to develop business partnerships with German companies, implemented through training cooperation and business matching based on trainees’ actual demands.

Vietnam has joined the program since 2008 from a cooperation agreement signed between the Ministry of Planning and Investment of Vietnam and the German Ministry of Economics and Technology (now the German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy) during the official visit to Germany by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in March 2008.

According to Mr. Phong, the program is implemented through training activity (preparatory in Vietnam and official in Germany) in combination with business matching and continuation activities after the training program wraps up, including Follow-up workshops on outcome assessment and knowledge update, Alumni workshops, alumni clubs or alumni-established business models. Managed and supported by VCCI, the program has brought about very positive and important effects for Vietnamese enterprises to further improve management capacity and develop relations with partners in Germany and across Europe.

Candidates for in the program are widely recruited in the business community. The target audience is leaders of small and medium-sized enterprises or middle managers at large enterprises seeking to develop economic, commercial and investment ties with German partners. They must have a good command of English and pass interviews conducted by two implementing agencies.

After the interviews, the implementing units will conduct two-part training activities: 7-10 days preparatory training in Vietnam to provide basic knowledge and four-week training in Germany. During the preparatory course, in addition to information from interviews, training centers will continue to collect trainees’ needs. On the content, trainees learn theories of management skills, contracting skills, European and German customs and culture, especially their working and business styles. They will intern at German companies and directly deal with partners as a part of training. Besides, they attend some activities such as seminars and fairs when they are in Germany.

According to VCCI’s reports, the program has so far conducted a total of 39 courses, including 23 courses for Vietnamese students (21 regular courses, one Vietnamese language course and one renewable energy course only for Vietnamese trainees), with each course having 19 - 23 trainees, and 16 international courses (learning with trainees from other countries, covering health, energy efficiency, mining and mineral, waste management subject) with a total of 565 trainees.

In addition to training, the program also organizes follow-up workshops on outcome assessments and knowledge update, which take place after the course completes after from six months to one year. Accordingly, trainees exchange on how knowledge learnt is applied to practice, on their successes as well as obstacles, update course results (carrying out signed contracts, concluding negotiations, proposing new contracts, etc.), and listen to German experts working in Vietnam and in Germany to present their experiences in management and business.

The program also hosts annual alumni meetings. This is a special activity for Vietnam because only three out of 19 countries are supported to have alumni meetings. So far, eight 2-day alumni meetings have been held in Nha Trang, Quy Nhon, Phu Yen, Quang Ninh, Phu Quoc, Quang Nam, Hue and Quang Binh. There, trainees and organizers exchanged experiences and results applied, listened to economic experts from Vietnam and Germany to provide information to develop business operations, update new knowledge for trainees, and organize alumni connection program. The organizers also met to discuss how to better host the program and strengthen relationships between the two ministries and the two implementing units.

To facilitate the connectivity of former trainees and arrange related activities, VCCI has established an alumni network in the club model, and appointed representatives to lead clubs to connect members who join the program.

At a working meeting in Berlin in October 2018, a celebratory event on the 20th anniversary of this program, representatives of the German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy had very positive reviews on the program and pledged to further carry out this in the next phase.

According to the plan, VCCI is cooperating with GIZ to recruit trainees for 24th and 25th courses only for Vietnam, scheduled to take place in late April and early May 2019, and the 26th course will be held in late August and early September 2019. For international courses, GIZ is asking the Vietnamese side to choose three courses for 5 - 6 trainees each for Vietnam. Each year will have three regular courses instead of two as at present, and 3 - 5 international courses.

“After 10 years of implementation, the program has brought a lot of benefits to both sides, not only helping enterprises train and improve management capacity, but also facilitating economic and commercial development between the two countries based on specific methods aimed to materialize the need for developing partnerships of enterprises joining the program and maintaining after-training connection activities. As a result, this program has produced practical results for trainees,” Mr. Phong said.

He added that many contracts, agreements and exchanges have been achieved right at the training process and continued after that. This outcome has been highly appreciated by trainees, particularly from small and medium-sized enterprises, when most trainees are top business leaders who have decision-making power in their companies, thus making discussions and deals much easier.

Anh Mai

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