HANOI, October 1, 2021 – Today, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ministry of Planning and Investment launched the Vietnam Workforce for an Innovation and Start-up Ecosystem (WISE) project, a two-year, USAID-funded initiative that will support Vietnam’s National Fourth Industrial Revolution Strategy to advance continued economic transformation.
After decades as one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, Vietnam’s industry and services sectors are entering a new phase of growth propelled by the brain power of an expanding young workforce. The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is at Vietnam’s doorstep creating immense opportunities and challenges for upskilling and reskilling the workforce to take advantage of new technologies, which in turn will advance and build new competitive advantages. COVID-19 has accelerated the movement to digital businesses and transformation, making it even more imperative to retool workers for the digital economy and the new normal.
At the launch event, USAID/Vietnam Mission Director Ann Marie Yastishock said, “USAID WISE showcases the U.S. Government’s commitment to partnering with Vietnam along its economic transformation, and will help advance this strategy, which centers on mastering and integrating new advanced technologies, spurring innovation, and accelerating the growth of the digital economy.”
USAID WISE will support scalable, market-driven, and sustainable models to prepare Vietnam’s workers for 4IR via partnerships with the private sector. The project will build basic digital literacy, provide 4IR career pathways information to make smart talent investments, provide information and communication technologies, upskilling/reskilling for lifelong learning, and explore innovative financing mechanisms for 4IR skills acquisition. The Ministry of Planning and Investment’s National Innovation Center (MPI/NIC) will be the key Government of Vietnam partner for USAID WISE. The project will build the capacity of the MPI/NIC and associate government agencies in human resource development to enable them to work effectively on upskilling and reskilling the workforce for innovation.
Equally important, USAID WISE will support Vietnam’s efforts to emphasize 4IR skills development opportunities to all demographics by devoting special focus on women and vulnerable groups to help narrow the country’s digital divide. This priority is consistent with the USAID Digital Strategy and will deliver long-term impact in Vietnam through an information and communication technology sector that features leaders, coders, designers, and technicians that advance the use and development of 4IR as it takes root across Vietnam’s economy.