Chapter 6. Investing in employee skills at the local level through Viet Nam’s score programme

In a rapidly evolving economic landscape, the wood processing industry in Viet Nam has emerged as a sector in need of skills development to boost productivity, compete with international rivals and promote sustainable growth. This case study analyses the implementation of a skills development programme to boost organisational capital and enhance productivity in the wood processing cluster in Dong Nai Province.

  • Since pursuing export-driven growth, the wood processing industry in Viet Nam has emerged as a significant driver of jobs and growth. As the wood processing industry faces increasing competition from other Southeast Asian rivals, enterprises are increasingly in need of a greater degree of basic and managerial skills amongst employees in order to boost productivity, reduce costs and pursue sustainable growth. This objective is difficult in light of persistent challenges with respect to informality, high labour turnover and a lack of economies of scale amongst SMEs.

  • Consequently, the Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprise (SCORE) Programme (developed by the International Labor Organization) was implemented for SMEs in the wood processing cluster in Dong Nai Province, Viet Nam. This programme delivered modules on workplace co-operation, quality management, productivity and cleaner production, human resource management and occupational health and safety to both managerial and general employees.


Viet Nam is a Southeast Asian economy that has undergone significant and rapid economic transformation since the 1980s. The total population of Viet Nam is around 94 million, 69% of whom are aged 15-64 years old. In 2014, the agricultural sector accounted for 17.4% of GDP, while the industry sector accounted for 38.8% and the services sector accounted for 43.7%. However, 48% of the labour force is active in the agricultural sector, while 21% is engaged in the industry sector and 31% is in the services sector. The economy is still in the process of economic development since the transition from central planning in 1986 (CIA Factbooks, Viet Nam).

Raising labour productivity and enhancing competitiveness will be a priority over the next five years as Viet Nam seeks to move up the value chain through regional and global production networks. In order to meet this goal, Viet Nam must address a number of issues, including millions employed in the lowly productive agricultural sector, the proliferation and low productivity of SMEs and the shortage of professional and technical skills in the workforce.

In 2010, Viet Nam’s productivity was low in absolute terms and was equal to only 61.4% of the ASEAN average, 22% of productivity in Malaysia and 12.4% of the level in Singapore (ILO Labour and Social Trends in Viet Nam 2009/10).

The Viet Nam Competitiveness Report (Ketels, 2010) confirms the productivity challenge in Viet Nam. The foreword by Professor Porter underlines the depth of the problem:

“Viet Nam’s cost position is gradually eroding relative to other countries that also provide a large pool of low cost labour. In 2009, Viet Nam’s productivity was equivalent to only 40 percent of that of Thailand and 52.6 percent of that of China….The comparisons look even worse for the manufacturing sector, which is expected to be the key driver of Viet Nam’s productivity growth.”

A 2013 report from the consulting firm McKinsey, Viet Nam’s growth: The productivity challenge, in turn, points to the change that is needed in order to address this productivity challenge: “To facilitate a transition to higher productivity activities, low-wage labour needs to be replaced with new sources of comparative advantage” (McKinsey, 2013). Both studies also acknowledge that to avoid the middle-income gap, Viet Nam must boost national productivity, with McKinsey suggesting that an increase in the measure of 50 per cent, from 4.1 per cent annually to 6.4 per cent, is needed.

This issue is particularly important for SMEs, who must become more productive to compete with their national and international peers. Upgrading productivity through better people management and workplace practices in compliance with national laws and guided by the principles of the core international labour standards can be an effective first step to improving the sustainable growth of the SME sector.

The economic and policy context of the wood processing industry in Viet Nam

The wood processing industry is the 5th largest exporting industry of Viet Nam after crude oil, garment, footwear and aquaculture. Viet Nam is amongst the largest exporter of wood products in South East Asia. The export turnover increased rapidly from USD 2.1 billion in 2006 to USD 5.4 billion in 2013. In 2015, this figure is expected to reach USD 7 billion (Do Ngoc, 2015).

The main export products of the industry include bedroom furniture, living and dining furniture, flooring and board, chairs, office furniture, kitchen furniture and other articles. The most recent statistics of the proportion of wooden product are shown in Figure 6.1.

Figure 6.1. Structure of Vietnamese wooden product exports in the first 8 months of 2015

Source: Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade (2015).

There are over 3 500 wood processing enterprises in Viet Nam, of which 95% are in the private sector and 16% enjoy the benefits of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). It is estimated that the industry employs 250 000 to 300 000 employees. Of these, 10% are university graduates, 40-50% are regular trained workers and the remaining are seasonal workers with very limited training (VIETRADE, 2015). Those enterprises with FDI are the most advanced in terms of production technology, followed by large exporting enterprises and exporting SMEs. SMEs with a focus on domestic market and handicraft are considered the least developed in terms of production technology.

One of the most pressing constraints on the sector is the future supply of materials. In response, the Prime Ministerial decision 889/2013 included a focus on developing plantation forest, reducing wood chip export to improve material supply for wood processing and reduce material imports.

In particular, policies in export markets in the EU and USA have been noted as a challenge by the Vice Chairman of Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of Ho Chi Minh City (HAWA) in the recent Forestry Forum 2015, due to the limited understanding and capacities of domestic producers. For example, wooden product exports to EU need to be certified to ensure the use of legal materials. This requires significant comprehensive systems to document the procurement and production process of enterprises. This is a significant gap in the current capacity of many wood processing enterprises, where purchases are mostly made informally and without proper documentation.

The General Secretary of Viet Nam Forestry Association also noted that wood processing enterprises import 4 million m3 of raw material every year, accounting for 80% of the total materials used in the industry. With the increasing import prices of raw materials and transport costs, local enterprises will soon face competition from other enterprises in China or Malaysia which are less dependent on imported materials.

The enterprises in the industry are facing issues associated with productivity, employment, recruitment, and the quality and volatility of labour. As a high percentage of factories originated from rural family businesses, with limited exposure to industrial manufacturing, there have been difficulties in building capacity for training and apprenticeship, and applying modern management tools.

The capacity of existing employment service centres, training centres, colleges, universities to meet the industry’s skills and labour demands is very limited. The TVET sector in Viet Nam is generally underdeveloped, and is characterised by a lack of skilled instructors, lack of output standards, lack of independent assessment of graduates, and overcrowded workshops. There are also few connections between training providers and actual employers and enterprises in the local labour market (ADB, 2014).

Although there are some institutes and training programs for woodworking, the number of students is very few, especially at the vocational level. Some institutes only conduct courses for engineers at college or university level, even though the industry requires a large number of frontline workers rather than engineers. Enterprises in the woodworking industry thus have to organise their own worker training or attract workers from others businesses in the industry. The industry’s demand for skilled labour is continuously rising, but less than 13% of the employable workforce has any vocational qualifications, raising fears of a shortage of highly skilled workers (ADB, 2014).

A major policy initiative related to TVET in Viet Nam was moving responsibility for vocational training from the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) to the Ministry of Labour, Invalid, and Social Affair (MOLISA). Recently, MOLISA replaced MOET as the executing agency. This policy can be seen as recognition that vocational training needs to have better links to the skills demanded by enterprises. MOLISA interacts with both employers and employees, theoretically enabling increased stakeholder engagement in understanding the demand for training and the implementation of more suitable programs, curriculum, and training system structure.

Another policy relevant to the woodworking industry is the Decision 1956/QĐ-TTg, “Vocational Training for Labour in Rural Areas to 2020”. In the scope of this policy, the government aims to improve public services to rural areas to support economic development by supporting the labour force, who mostly work in agriculture. This policy is expected to increase the available labour supply for the wood processing industry.

Addressing low productivity in the Vietnamese wood processing industry

A large percentage of wood processing employees have limited training and operate in an unprofessional manner. Only one of the enterprises interviewed for this case study noted that 40% of their employees had undertaken comprehensive training in woodworking – for the majority of surveyed enterprises (80%), just 10-20% of their employees have been trained. Limited management capacity is also a critical issue reflected in the low productivity and limited application of modern management tools (SCORE progress report 2014). With the current situation, capacity building for the work force plays an essential role in the modernisation and development of the industry.

Sustainable enterprises in the Vietnamese wood processing industry need to innovate, adopt environmentally friendly technologies, develop skills and human resources, and enhance productivity to remain competitive in national and international markets. They also need to apply workplace practices based on the full respect for fundamental rights at work and international labour standards, and foster good labour-management relations to raise productivity and create decent work (SCORE, 2014).

Recent research clearly demonstrates that better management practices (such as ones taught in SCORE) are strongly linked to higher productivity and profitability at the firm level. Improving management practice is also associated with increases in productivity and output. (Bloom and Van Reenen, 2007)

Description of the SCORE Programme


Previously the International Labour Organisation (ILO) implemented the Factory Improvement Program (FIP) to improve the competitiveness of local enterprises. FIP piloted the programme by working with enterprises in multiple sectors on workplace co-operation, quality management, cleaner production, human resource management and occupational safety and health. The later stages of the project focus on enterprises in the garment and shoes industries. Upon the success of the FIP program, two new programs were developed to target different target groups: the SCORE program to support SMEs, and the Better Work program to work with large enterprises in different value chains. The core contents and modules of FIP were implemented in both the SCORE and Better Work programmes. In Viet Nam, the Better Work Viet Nam programme focuses on the garment industry. The programmes conducted a joint pilot to introduce SCORE to smaller enterprises in the value chain of Better Work Viet Nam members.


The Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises (SCORE) program is a practical training and workplace improvement program to increase the productivity of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) while promoting respect for workers’ rights. The program demonstrates best international practice in the manufacturing and service sectors and helps SMEs access global supply chains. In Viet Nam, SCORE was launched in October 2011 and targeted the wooden furniture manufacturing industry in Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong and Dong Nai. The program is also currently expanding to Binh Dinh province in central Viet Nam and the garment sector in southern provinces.

The objectives of the SCORE program for the woodworking sector are:

  • To enable industry associations and training institutions market, sell and organise SCORE training to SMEs.

  • To enable service providers to deliver effective training and consulting services to SMEs.

  • To increase awareness of responsible workplace practices at the local, national and global level.

Implementation strategy

The Ho Chi Minh City branch of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, (VCCI HCM) is the key implementing partner for SCORE and plays a vital role in promoting the training, co-ordinating sectoral partners and trainers, ensuring service quality, and more broadly facilitating the achievement of project objectives.

In the beginning of the project, VCCI HCM co-operated with the Department of Labor Invalid and Social Affairs (DOLISA) of Dong Nai province to implement SCORE for SMEs in the wood processing cluster in this province. In the later stage of the programme, industry associations had a stronger involvement in the implementation.

Handicraft and Wood Processing Association Ho Chi Minh City (HAWA), Binh Duong Furniture Association (BIFA) and Binh Dinh Forestry Product Association (FPA) are sectoral partners for the SCORE project. Among these associations, HAWA has the strongest experience in implementing productivity improvement programs, while SCORE is the first comprehensive program implemented by the other partners.

Each association nominated a staff member to co-ordinate project work and act as a focal point for SCORE implementation within the framework of these agreements within the ILO. With their strong network and experience in the wood processing industry, these associations become the key implementing partners of SCORE project.

Figure 6.2. Implementation Strategy for the SCORE Programme

Activities of the SCORE Programme

SCORE is a modular training programme that focuses on developing co-operative relations at the workplace. The five SCORE modules cover workplace co-operation, quality management, clean production, human resource management, and occupational health and safety. The first module on workplace co-operation establishes the approach and methodology for the other four modules.

Figure 6.3. SCORE programme modules

Each of the modules includes a baseline assessment, joint two-day classroom training for managers and workers and on-site consultancy visits from experts to the participating enterprises. 

Figure 6.4. Activities of the SCORE programme

Governance framework and delivery arrangements

The SCORE project in Viet Nam is co-ordinated by an ILO project team with support and guidance from the ILO headquarters in Geneva. Specific activities at the field are implemented by local partner organisations namely, the Chamber of Commerce and other business associations (HAWA, BIFA, and Forestry Product Association-FPA).

Figure 6.5. SCORE Programme Management Structure

Budgeting and financing

SCORE in Viet Nam is funded by Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and the Norwegian Agency for Development Co-operation (NORAD). The total funding for the project between 2014 and 2016 is USD 1.1 million. Funding for SCORE Viet Nam is managed by the ILO with several Implementation agreements and contracts to SCORE partner organisations. The partners are responsible for implementing project activities including training, making consultancy visits and sharing best practices while the ILO SCORE team focuses on strategic planning and quality control of the activities. The main funding for field activities goes through VCCI HCMC.

Impacts of the SCORE Programme

Training of Trainers (TOT)

SCORE trainers are selected by ILO SCORE based on recommendations of partner organisations and in accordance with the SCORE TOT curriculum. The trainers went through a comprehensive 10 day training program which included classroom training and practice at the enterprises.

Tableau 6.1. Training at SCORE

People trained in workshops

Total number

% Female

Number of trainers trained



Number of government representatives trained



Number of employer/industry associations representatives trained



Number of union representatives trained



Number of others trained



SCORE also provided training on SCORE themes and topics to constituents like government representatives, employer and industry association and trade unions. The focus of these trainings is to increase awareness of the linkages between productivity and working conditions as well as how the SCORE methodology can be used to improve conditions.

Figure 6.6. Constituents of the SCORE Programme

Source: SCORE Monitoring and Evaluation Database Oct 2015.

Training of enterprises

Over 80 enterprises participated in the SCORE programme from October 2011 to December 2015. These enterprises employ over 26 000 employees. From 2011 to 2015, 734 staff were trained in SCORE workshops and 410 on-site consultancy visits were conducted. The average satisfaction rate amongst these enterprises was 96%, with 43% of the enterprises attending more than one module of the SCORE programme.

Each enterprise contributes by paying a participation fee to SCORE, which accounts for 29% of the total direct cost of each training (presented as “Average Cost Recovery” in Tableau 6.2 This fee is collected by the implementing partner, namely VCCI HCMC and local associations. The table also reflect the level of independence of SCORE partners in organising SCORE trainings. Where the partners can organise trainings without any technical support from SCORE, the level of independence is marked “high”.

Tableau 6.2. Enterprise characteristics

Total number of enterprises trained


Total staff of enterprises trained

26 438

Total number of enterprises that completed training


Number of enterprise staff trained in workshops

Total number of enterprise visits


Average satisfaction with training


Enterprises that sign up for multiple modules


Average cost recovery


Average number of enterprises per ToE


Independence of partner organisations when organising modules







Source: SCORE Monitoring and Evaluation Database Oct 2015.

SCORE encourages the involvement of both workers and managers in the improvement process, resulting in a balanced ratio of both groups in the training courses. Gender balance is also a priority for SCORE. As the majority of employees in the wood processing industry are males, the gender balance maintained by the program is 80% male and 20% female for staff trained in SCORE.

Figure 6.7. Characteristics of SME staff trained in workshops

Source: SCORE Monitoring and Evaluation Database Oct 2015.

Figure 6.8. Demographics of SME staff trained in workshops

Source: SCORE Monitoring and Evaluation Database Oct 2015.

The SCORE training model designates the first module as a compulsory first step all SMEs before progressing to other modules. On average 43% of participating SMEs enrolled in another module after module one. Fewer SMEs participated in modules 3, 4 and 5 because they were implemented at a later stage of the project.

Figure 6.9. Staff demographics of SMEs participating in the SCORE Programme, 2015

Source: SCORE Monitoring and Evaluation Database 2015.

Long-term impacts

Figure 6.10. Adoption of good practices from SCORE

Source: SCORE Monitoring and Evaluation Database 2015.

Data gathered within the project highlights the new practices implemented as a result of the training and the impacts of these upon the enterprises. Data to the point of reporting showed:

  • 99% of participating companies established Enterprise Improvement Teams (EIT) composed of both male and female employees.

  • 97% of the enterprises trained applied 5S, a tool from the SCORE programme, to improve their production arrangement. This management tool is highly appreciated by managers and workers in the factory. Data and qualitative reports confirm that the EITs that succeeded in maintaining the worker involvement approach achieved a much higher effectiveness from the application of 5S and were better able to maintain high standards in their workshops than those that did not.

Communicating and information sharing are other good practices that has a significant impact on production improvement. Although all factories internally communicate quality information in one way or another, the effectiveness of this process is not consistent. SCORE introduces more effective and systematic sharing techniques to improve both the frequency and the quality of the information sharing process. Over half of the enterprises were able to adopt this practice to the point of reporting:

  • 69% of the enterprises maintained daily worker-manager meetings. This practice plays a key role in improving the internal communication, which led to a higher level of worker involvement and improved information sharing.

  • 46% of the enterprises used visual tools such as large information boards and banners to display information, objectives and instructions on product quality and quality management to workers

Other good practices introduced include the development of employee suggestion schemes and the systematic analysis of defect causes.

Figure 6.11. Percentage of SMEs that report improvements following SCORE training

Source: SCORE Monitoring and Evaluation Database 2015.

Improving business competitiveness is central to the SCORE project. One of the ways this is achieved is through SCORE training is by increased savings through reduced waste, increased efficiencies/quality and improved processes. Data from participating enterprises reveals:

  • 91% reported cost savings thanks to SCORE training.

  • 45% of enterprises reported a reduction in the defect rate.

Creating a positive impact for employees in terms of their working conditions, safety and health, satisfaction and motivation is also central to SCORE’s objectives. 43% of enterprises reported a reduction in labour turnover. High labour turnover is often a reflection of worker dissatisfaction with working conditions or other workplace issues.

The program enhanced the skills of workers through various means including: promoting ideas for improvement among employees, especially frontline workers, developing procedures to receive, process and apply the improvement ideas, promoting team work skills, strengthening workplace communication, and providing internal training. These improvements developed and strengthened various soft skills which are essential for the performance of managers and workers at the factories.

The technical trainings of SCORE, including quality management, cleaner production, occupational safety and health, had the largest impacts on middle management. The practical skills related to manufacturing management were highly appreciated by the interviewed enterprises.

Strengths of the SCORE Programme

Practical and industry-specific contents of the programme

SCORE is highly appreciated by target enterprises for its practical and industry-specific content which has been continuously adapted throughout the implementation of training and on-site consultancy with over 80 SMEs over four years. A large number of practical experiences were included and fine-tuned to directly address the needs and expectations of participating enterprises.

Prior to each training course, a baseline assessment was conducted with the participating enterprises. The information from this baseline assessment was later integrated into training content to address the specific situations of factories so that that training participants were able to discuss and develop solutions to real workplace problems.

High standard of training quality

The training standards of SCORE Viet Nam were based on the SCORE global standards developed by the ILO team in Geneva. Training quality is considered the core of the technical sustainability of SCORE. Enterprises were overwhelmingly satisfied with the content of the training provided by the SCORE programme, and interviewed enterprises often described the training as of “high and consistent training quality”.

Programme design provides practical and hands-on instruction to SMEs

SCORE training is designed for enterprises to develop their own improvement plan, and scope was included both for tailored training for SMEs and the independent development and implementation of training from enterprises.

Worker involvement in EIT

Worker participation and involvement is the key approach of SCORE. This approach was implemented in order to promote shared ownership of problem identification and solution. Whilst SCORE enterprises acknowledged some difficulty in applying this in practice, they saw the benefits of continuing this approach after their participation in the program had ended.

Obstacles observed during implementation

Difficulty in approaching target enterprises

SCORE has very specific requirements of size, management capacity and commitment in recruiting enterprises to the program.

At the beginning phase of the project, identifying enterprises with the right size, capability and commitment for the SCORE programme was time consuming. The number of appropriate enterprises in the networks of each partner organisation (HAWA, BIFA, DOLISA), was limited, which exacerbated the challenge of recruiting firms over time. The time consuming process of recruiting new enterprises affected the outcome, delivery and timeline of the project.

Limited human resources from industrial associations and partner organisations

The human resources allocated to the implementation of SCORE by partner organisations was the main challenge mentioned by the SCORE office. The implementation model required strong commitments, full-time staff and a plan to develop and retain staff for future institutional sustainability. HAWA, BIFA and other partner organisations could not allocate sufficient human resources to implement SCORE independently. The process of developing local constituents thus took longer than anticipated by the initial implementation plan.

Limited resource of qualified experts with strong industry background

The limited number of qualified experts with strong industry experience remains a challenge in the recruitment of trainers. Although new trainers that are factory managers have been brought on board and are now fully capable of delivering SCORE training and support, their limited availability means that the project is not yet able to fully meet the demand for training activities.

Limited resources to sustain SCORE at local associations

BIFA and FPA have few regular staff with experience in development work at the scale and level of expertise required by SCORE. Any instability in staffing in these associations can have a direct impact on their implementation of SCORE. HAWA had a stronger team of four staff handling SCORE but continuing the programme after funding ends will require stronger management capacity to deliver the training at market rates. There is a clear need for more significant investment in human resources of local business associations.

Difficulty in obtaining key data from the enterprises

SCORE collects Key Performance Indicator (KPI) data from enterprises to evaluate the impact of the training on the enterprise and employees. However, the data collected from target enterprises has been incomplete, which is a challenge for effective program monitoring. This challenge makes the data collection process more time and resource consuming. The lack of monitoring data from a number of enterprises makes it difficult to complete a comprehensive assessment of the impacts of the SCORE programme. This problem has been noted in a number of countries where the SCORE programme has been implemented.

Limited engagement and support from the government

The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) and its departmental representations (DOLISA) is aware of SCORE and participates in the NTAC, but does not offer any material support for the programme. No links have been established with labour inspection services within MOLISA at the central level to consider developing joint activities (such occurs in China, for example). At the departmental level, DOLISA observes what the project does in the furniture sector but it does not take an active role. The country strategy for SCORE in Viet Nam anticipated collaboration with the Ministry of Planning and Investments (MPI) to establish a partnership with its SME support provision activities (SME-TAC), but this co-operation has not yet materialised.

Skills and capacity issues amongst the enterprises

Lack of effective internal training

Only a few of SCORE enterprises have effective internal training systems in place. Although, orientation and technical training for newly recruited workers was present in many enterprises, there was neither follow-up training nor regular skills upgrading mechanisms. The team leaders or the managers of each division without training or coaching skills are often responsible for training new workers. While SCORE heavily relies on the re-training model (where staff trained in SCORE workshops deliver simplified training to other employees of the enterprise to improve skills for the whole workforce), the lack of internal systems of enterprises posed an obstacle to the implementation of the SCORE training methodology.

Lack of KPI to evaluate the effectiveness of skill training

Related to the internal training issue, the majority of SCORE enterprises do not have comprehensive KPIs to evaluate the effectiveness of SCORE training. The SCORE program itself focuses mainly in measuring the overall improvement of enterprises’ competitiveness and not the skills obtained by individuals participating in SCORE. KPI measuring skill development can be a significant add-on to SCORE should the project further target this potential area.

High labour turnover rate

Last but not least, the high labour turnover is mentioned as an important obstacle for skills development. The average labour turnover rate of SCORE enterprises rate is about 6-7% annually, and can spike as high as 30-40% after holidays like Lunar New Year. This is not only challenging for enterprises who aim to invest in skills development but also the SCORE project in term of ensuring the effective operation of the EIT. The majority cases of high staff turnover within the EIT led to gaps or duplications in programme implementation.

Potential transferability

Main lessons for other non-OECD countries

Public organisations and other agencies should consider developing and strengthening the partnerships between training institutes and businesses. This partnership could enable the exchange of enterprises’ staff to attend training at the institutes and students to practice at the enterprises. This could make vocational training more attractive to students and would have a positive influence on the worker supply in the long term.

The education and vocational training organisations should adjust programs to make them fit to the demands of the industry. The woodworking industry requires a large number of front line labourers, resulting in significant demand for short courses of basic technical training for newly recruited employees or applicants to line worker positions.

Almost all employees will require basic management skills and training skills as the enterprises in the wood processing industry improve productivity by automating manufacturing processes and modernising work methods. Soft skills like monitoring, assessing, critical thinking, team work, communication, and creativity should be included or enhanced in the training programs.

Raising awareness of productivity and production quality issues amongst both frontline workers but also managers is a major concern for enterprises. Raising awareness is essential before the application or implementation of advanced management methods and tools like those in the SCORE programme.

The enterprises should not rely solely on the education and training sector but also need to be able to handle their own internal training effectively in order to develop and utilise labour skills. They should prepare and invest to in developing internal training systems. Public organisations and agencies, or programs like SCORE should also assist enterprises to improve their capacity to provide in-house training.

There is clear link between labour turnover and working conditions (salaries and benefits, working hours and location, working environments, management). This impacts not only the skills development process but also the activities of the whole enterprise. It is therefore essential to improve working conditions, and increase employees’ motivation through workplace co-operation tools such as those introduced in SCORE.

Considerations for successful adoption in emerging countries

It should not be assumed that success in one region or country will result in equal success in another. It is important to understand the dynamics of local businesses. Some considerations for successful adoption of the SCORE programme in emerging countries include the following considerations.

The programme structure and content are widely appreciated by enterprises and the data illustrates the positive impacts to both employees and enterprises. There is also a clear need to continuously adapt the structure and contents to meet local needs.

To ensure long-term financial sustainability, there must be increased financial contribution from enterprises, public sector and MNEs. SCORE Viet Nam was moving from 2% cost recovery at the introduction phase to over 35% in 2015 exclusively from the participation fees from enterprises. If the impact and values of the project can be proven to the public organisations, the programme is more likely to be sustainable in the long-term.

A renewed focus on quality monitoring and continuous improvement is strongly recommended for any similar programs. The project should be implemented in collaboration with industry associations as well as chambers of commerce and industry to ensure institutional sustainability. Their role in the project should aim to improve the implementation and facilitate the capacity building process.


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