HITT in Vietnam
The SNV Netherlands Development Organisation has been active in Vietnam since 1995, and became a leading development organisation in the tourism sector in 2001. HITT Vietnam will continue the SNV’s strategy to foster public-private partnerships in order to reduce poverty, drawing on and contributing to the expertise of the HITT Global Team.
Following on from extensive research and analysis of informal employment in the tourism sector, HITT Vietnam has developed vocational training curricula and materials in line with the HITT learning approach. Now in the implementation phase, HITT Vietnam is working with valued partner REACH to provide beneficiaries with vocational training that will enable them to capitalise on the opportunities presented by the growing tourism industry.
HITT Vietnam has chosen to focus specifically on three occupations that are strongly affected by the tourism industry and are dominated by informal workers. The following section explains the nature of these occupations, and why they were chosen. More information on the nature of the vocational training that beneficiaries in these occupations are receiving can be found on the ‘Curriculum & Training’ page.
Food and Beverage Servers
Food and Beverage servers usually work informally, serving customers – often tourists – in restaurants. Often unskilled or semi-skilled, it is easy for them to lose their jobs, or to be exploited or abused by their employers. HITT Vietnam’s training programme provides these workers with skills that make them valuable to their employers, leading to higher wages and greater job security. Instead of facing the choice between a difficult, unrewarding work environment and unemployment, food and beverage servers trained by HITT will have good prospects of finding a better job elsewhere. Tourists receiving improved service will take action that leads to further growth in Vietnam’s tourism industry, whether through returning themselves or encouraging others to visit.
Homestay operators are central to a unique process of cultural transfer that can benefit both the tourist and the host in terms of experience, and it can provide a vital source of income. As homestay operators are usually self-employed on an informal basis, have strong ties with the tourism sector, and are rarely well trained, HITT Vietnam identified this occupation as one to work with. Those beneficiaries who complete the HITT course will be able to provide a high-quality experience for tourists visiting them, which will have positive effects the ease with which they host, and on their income. Furthermore, the reputation of Vietnam’s homestay services will be enhanced, encouraging more tourists to visit.
Local tour guides are in high demand as tourists desire to learn about and explore Vietnam’s rich culture and beautiful natural scenery. However, most local guides have poor qualifications and little knowledge about the expectations of their customers. HITT Vietnam is providing local village-based guides with practical skills training to improve the service they provide to tourists in the area, thereby securing better income through word of mouth referrals and tips.
Partnership with REACH
Since the inception phase of the programme, HITT Vietnam has been working with REACH, a Vietnamese NGO that specialises in providing Vietnam’s most disadvantaged youth, with vocational training and employment services. Since its establishment in 2008, REACH has experienced rapid growth in popularity due to the fantastic results it has delivered – more than 80% of graduates find employment.
As HITT and REACH share broadly coinciding aims, this has been, and will continue to be, a valuable partnership. When the HITT programme reaches completion in January 2014, its material and methods will endure in Vietnam, as they have been integrated into the curricula of REACH. This fulfils part of the programme’s long term aims, which is to see the sustained use of HITT practices by partner organisations, once the HITT programme itself has concluded.
HITT Vietnam is working specifically with Food & Beverage service programmes of REACH, targeted at potential workers/students who come from troubled or disadvantaged backgrounds.