Two hundred and fifty delegates from 22 countries gathered together at RMIT Vietnam’s Saigon South campus for a 3-day event to share and discuss the best practices in navigating career development in the age of Industry 4.0.
The Asia Pacific Career Development Association (APCDA) is a renowned forum for sharing career development ideas and practices in the Asia Pacific region, and engaging the world about these insights. APCDA, which held its inaugural conference in 2013, aims to promote collaboration among career practitioners throughout the Asia Pacific region, inspire existing and potential career practitioners to deliver theory-based and research-driven career development services, promote research in the field of career development, and advocate for workforce policies and practices that foster inclusion and access to decent work for all. It now has 22 Country/Region Directors and 188 active members.
President of the Asia Pacific Career Development Association Carla Siojo believed that the Fourth Industrial Revolution is here and there is much to be done. She hoped that the conference would enrich lives and co-create a better world through meaningful career development practice.
Ms Felicity Brown, Manager of Career Consulting and Development at RMIT Vietnam’s Careers and Industry Relations unit, said that the University was proud to bring the 7th annual APCDA conference to Vietnam.
“RMIT Vietnam has been represented at APCDA conferences since the first one in Seoul, South Korea in 2013,” Ms Brown said. “The audience includes career and school counsellors, counsellor educators, workforce development professionals, human resource professionals, and career development practitioners at all age levels and in all settings (school, college and university, government, military, business, agency, corrections, and private practice). Bringing this year’s conference to Vietnam made it easier for local schools, universities and companies interested in career development to access a wealth of best practice across Asia-Pacific.”
Ms Brown emphasised that the APCDA Annual Conference offers its members excellent professional development opportunities and valuable networks in this emerging field, and this year’s event provided a forum for RMIT Vietnam to showcase its various employability activities.
“RMIT holds a leading position in the field of Career Development in Vietnam,” she said. “We have been providing our students and prospective students with individual career counselling services for more than ten years, and organising many different employability activities including Personal Edge, a co-curricular professional skills development program with digital portfolio, and soft skills workshops for students on internships, and community outreach such as the Women's Empowerment Club.”
The presentations at the APCDA conference covered the spectrum of career planning, development or job placement in school, university and private practice settings as well as labour market, workforce and international issues.
Delegates also had a chance to hear Dean of Education and Professor of Educational Psychology at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Dr Alvin Leung talk about the CLAP for Youth @ JC (Career and Life Adventure Planning Program). CLAP is a comprehensive career development program in Hong Kong aiming to equip youth with the career development competencies to pursue their aspirations in a fast-changing society where talents and success in education and careers are narrowly defined within limited pathways of achievement.
The keynote address by Mr Tran Anh Tuan, Deputy Director, Institute of International Economics Training and Research, gave the participants insights about Vietnam's career landscape facing Industry 4.0. Mr Tuan spoke about the layoffs and labour shortages, specifically for workers with high-level, high-demand skills, that Vietnam has experienced in recent years.
“The shortages result from the choice of majors,” he said. “Some majors are highly valued, although they do not fill the needs of society. At the same time, the system of forecasting human resource needs, labour market information, and vocational training activities are not synchronous and do not effectively link the demand for vocational training, the availability of vocational training, and demand for workers.” Mr Tuan also forecasted the high demand in some groups of occupations including information technology, bio technology, automation, management, finance, logistics, tourism and hospitality, and the creative industry.