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Job market tough for new graduates


A flood of students will be graduating in June, 2013 but many of them will not be able to find jobs, according to HCM City's Centre for Forecasting Manpower Needs and Labour Market Information.

A centre report released on Wednesday shows that nearly half of all university and college graduates will not find jobs in June or the rest of the summer.

Tran Anh Tuan, Deputy head of the centre, said that many graduates lacked practical skills in their major field of study as well as soft skills like teamwork, communication and public speaking.

To lower the cost of retraining, companies operating in today's sluggish economic climate were being more selective about new hires, he added.

In addition, the number of trained students is higher than demand, leading to a high unemployment rate among new graduates.

Some academic fields have far too many graduates, especially nursing, pharmacy, accounting, auditing and banking.

Fifty to 60 per cent of nursing and pharmacy graduates in the last two years have not found jobs or are working in jobs unrelated to their fields, according to HCM City's Department of Education and Training.

A boom in two-year vocational-training healthcare programmes, particularly in pharmacy, nursing and general medicine, has contributed to the problem.

In 2007, the city had only three two-year pharmacy vocational training programmes. It now has 27 such schools with current enrollment of 14,000 students.

Nguyen Tan Binh, Director of HCM City's Department of Health, said students in healthcare fields, especially in nursing, were facing difficulties finding jobs.

Lack of quality training at many schools in these fields were also producing many graduates unfit for the market.

Pham Ngoc Thanh, Deputy director of the Department of Education and Training, said that more schools should seek guidance from hospitals to establish graduation standards.

Hospitals and training schools should also work together to offer students real-world practice, he said.

Collaboration between schools and healthcare companies would be beneficial as well, Thanh said, adding that companies could help with training and career guidance talks for students.

One such programme is being developed by healthcare giant GlaxoSmithKline in cooperation with Ha Noi University of Pharmacy and HCM City University of Medicine and Pharmacy.

The company will train students for 36 months on drug development, marketing and project management. It will also organise a career guidance talk called Future Leader.

Students who have an average mark of 2.7/4 or 7.0/10 in their university studies and a TOEIC score of at least 450 are eligible to apply for the training programme. Candidates will be required to take an English-language test and attend five interview rounds on management, planning, presentation, group work and interview skills.

Thai Nguyen Hung Thu, Deputy rector of the Ha Noi University of Pharmacy, said the programme would give students access to real working conditions and offer skills needed in today's job market.
Source: VN News.