Needs of and Gaps Encountered by Employers in the Northern Mountainous Region of Vietnam

Project Overview

The overarching goal of this research is to examine the needs and skills gaps encountered by employers in the northern mountainous region of Vietnam. Specially, it aims to:

Identify the key generic skills, knowledge and attributes employers need new graduates to demonstrate to be employable

Examine the ways employers assess graduates’ employability (generic) skills as part of their recruitment process (including probation time)

Understand whether there are any particular programs from which employers prefer to recruit graduates, and if so, what the characteristics of those graduates are compared to graduates from other programs.

Based on semi-structured interviews with 40 employers and 10 focus groups with university leaders and academics, employers and recent graduates, the study provides rich empirical evidence about not only the conventional employability skills and knowledge often cited on the national and international literature (such as inter-personal, critical thinking and IT skills), but importantly also about, the new sets of generic skills and attitudes emerging in the Northern mountainous region which are of growing importance. The findings of the study show that graduates are required to be flexible and adaptable and engaged in self-learning, creative, and continuous learning, as well as demonstrate empathy for the locals and local environment.

To enhance graduate employability, the study makes seven key recommendations in light of the empirical data and related literature about graduate employability. Under each recommendation, we identify specific strategies and approaches for university communities, students and other related stakeholders to work together. Up to date, two workshops were organised in Vietnam to discuss the approaches to translate the recommendations of the study into reforming the curriculum and pedagogy and enhancing partnerships between universities and stakeholders with the aim to enhance graduate employability.

Our team

Deakin University
University of New South Wales
Tây Bắc University, Việt Nam

Project team
A/Prof. Ly Tran (Deakin University)
Nga Ngo (Tây Bắc University)
Dr Hoa Nguyen (University of New South Wales)

Project funding

This project is funded to the value of $48,925 by the Australian Government through Aus4Skills, an Aus4Vietnam  investment. Aus4Skills is a five-year program providing support to Vietnam to achieve the shared goal that Vietnam  can access and use high-level professional and technical knowledge, skills and competencies to contribute to the  country’s sustainable economic and social development, and enduring links with Australia.

Project timeline


Contact us

A/Prof. Ly Tran
Deakin University