1. Background

It is imperative that we support the development of our youth and provide them with the opportunities to make that future bright, because their future is our countries’ future. Globally countries that meet their youth’s needs will be in a better position in the second half of the century with more educated, healthier populations, more productive workforces & growing economies (State of the World Population, 2014).


In Vietnam, the General Statistics Office and International Labour Organisation has reported that graduates struggle to find suitable work, appropriate to their experience and education (ILO 2015), in large part due to a “skills shortage” and a “skills gap” making recruitment difficult for employers (World Bank, 2014). This is compounded further by the social and economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic which is being felt on a global scale, with youth being particularly vulnerable due to the loss of entry-level jobs, as well as internships and apprenticeships, running the risk of losing touch with the labour market and becoming marginalised in informal or precarious jobs (ILO, 2020).

But employment is not the only path open to a young graduate. He or she could also decide to start their own business venture and through its successful development and growth could help further develop the country’s economy and create new jobs. The idea of starting up their own business is attractive to Vietnam’s youth, and in the country entrepreneurs are well respected, although more support for the development of entrepreneurial activities is needed, in particular training programs aimed at younger people.

Within this context, the Erasmus+ project V2WORK “Strengthening the Vietnamese Higher Education System to improve graduates’ employability and entrepreneurship skills” was launched in October 2017 with the objective of strengthening the capacities of the Vietnamese HE System to improve the employability & entrepreneurship skills of its graduates, and to reinforce its relationships with the labour market, in line with the Vietnamese government’s priority of improving graduate employment at a national level. Over the course of 3.5 years, and with the active cooperation between eight Vietnamese universities, MOET, VCCI, student association AIESEC and 3 European universities, V2WORK has:

  • Modernised career support services of & Vietnamese HEIs by building institutional & human capacities in employability and entrepreneurship skills to help them become efficient & dynamic instruments to promote & support employment & entrepreneurship among HEI students & graduates.
  • Reinforced university-enterprise relationships through the development of mechanisms to foster active involvement of enterprises in the Career Centres.

Find out more about V2WORK at www.v2work.eu.

  1. Objectives & expected results of the V2WORK final conference & 1st VEES-NET annual meeting

The V2WORK Final Conference & 1st VEES-NET Annual Meeting wants to be a platform to exchange views and experiences on supporting higher education students’ and graduates’ efforts to improve their employability and take their first steps on the path to becoming a successful entrepreneur.

Over the course of two days representatives of universities, policy makers and the labor market will come together to hear from universities from all around Vietnam about the work they are doing to support their students and graduates, and to discuss how the universities can cooperate at a national level, and how universities, employers and government can work together to on this issue. Participants will have ample opportunities for discussion and learning about each other’s work during the Networking Poster Sessions.

A third day will be reserved for working sessions for members of VEES-Net, the Vietnam Employability and Entrepreneurship Support Network, to continue the development of this new network.

Find out more about VEES-Net at www.vees-net.com.

  1. Participants

The V2WORK FINAL CONFERENCE & 1st VEES-Net ANNUAL MEETING is aimed at the university community (managers, professors, career center staff), as well as at employers and policy makers. Participants will come together from all around Vietnam to showcase their experience and good practices in supporting student employability and entrepreneurship, and in discussing at length how the different groups of stakeholders and cooperate to continue improving their efforts.

The event is open to the public, but as there are limited spaces available anyone interested in attending should request an invitation from Nha Trang University. Online participation on March 29th & 30th will be possible through a link to Google Meet at: https://meet.google.com/mei-fxuq-sdv or live-streamed on Facebook at: VEES-Net@VEESNet.