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Management Training Program for Vietnamese Staff Working at SMEs

We introduce the ways of nurturing foreigners working at Japanese companies, centering on the case study from the Management Training Program for Vietnamese Staff Seminar implemented by PREX.

What prompted the seminar’s launch

Since 2008, PREX has been tackling its vision of “aiming to be indispensable to emerging countries and Kansai.” In order to achieve this vision in the Kansai district, PREX started to work on human-resource development, in particular to meet the needs for overseas expansion by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). That was three years ago. There are SMEs that recruit foreign employees as a form of overseas expansion.

The companies target these people as human resources to become leaders who can spearhead localization at overseas bases. However, it is difficult to have seminars or guidance for foreign employees on management specific to their companies. The background to this is that experience in PREX’s seminar activities has been judged useful. Each year, PREX implements around 30 seminars that target administrative officials and corporate managers and executives in developing countries.

Utilizing that know-how and networks, the seminar programs were developed and prepared together with Mr. Utsumi introduced in the preceding paragraph, in an attempt to have seminars that target foreign employees working at the kind of SMEs described above.

What kind of seminar is this?

The seminar began 2014 as a 10-day program after a one-day trial session in 2013. It is currently for Vietnamese employees and was decided on in light of the situation where many SMEs in the Kansai region are considering expanding to Vietnam. It was also influenced by the fact there had been a movement to tackle environmental preparations and information sharing concentrating on Vietnam in order to make it easier for SMEs to expand to Vietnam, while organizations, etc. supporting SMEs in Kansai got together.

As we introduce on the following page, the content during the 10-day program is about being able to systematically learn points necessary for managers at Japanese companies. A special feature is the many years of instructing experience held by the creation specialists who kindly provide guidance. The huge amount of experience built up from the PREX seminars is also incorporated. This includes exercises that involve games, opinion exchanges among participants who do such things as review past activities, and points learned at other companies’ locations.

What are the future plans?

We have been able to hear from the Vietnamese people who participated in the seminars and the presidents of their companies about how they grew and pushed on after their seminars ended. In addition, the Vietnamese people who took on positions of responsibility at Vietnamese factories or leaders at their worksites after the seminar have told us about the actual problems they currently face.

I feel it will be necessary to tackle these issues in the future. One issue is that the number of seminar participants has stagnated at below half the targeted levels. As we are able to confirm our needs and achievements, I think we need to further strengthen our PR.

PREX’s Setoguchi and Sugawara
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