Labour shortage exaggerated, but vocational training still vital

Published: 16/02/2011 05:00



Nguyen Dai Dong, director of the
department of employment at the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs,
spoke to Thoi bao Kinh te (Viet Nam Economic Times) about labour shortages and
job growth.

Employment remains an urgent issue as job quality and sustainability and
efficiency of job creation remain low. What are the reasons?

In my
opinion, training is failing to meet market demands, leading to a low quality of
human resources. Up to 70-80 per cent of vocational training programmes still
focus on short-term training.

It is
forecast that we need to provide vocational training for 40-45 per cent of the
total number of new workers by 2020 in order to meet socio-economic targets.

Many businesses find it difficult to employ more workers since the end of last
year while many workers remain unemployed. Is it because our policies are
ineffective so that worker supply and demand is out of kilter?

We get a
“virtual” labour shortage from time to time when many businesses announce they
want to employ a large number of workers and complain that they are finding it
hard to find new workers. But it is not completely true.

In 2010,
the Employment Department undertook fact-finding tours of localities’ labour
demands and also asked them to report on the situation.

businesses had advertised to employ five to ten times more workers than they
needed, giving the appearance of a labour shortage.

competition among businesses led to the use of various methods to attract
workers, causing workers to quit one job to move to another with better
conditions. In other cases firms continued advertising for workers after the
jobs had been filled, also giving the impression of a labour shortage.

In fact,
only 46 per cent of the total demand for workers last year was for new jobs
while the remainder were replacing labour that had changed employers,
particularly those in the footwear and garments and textiles sectors.

Also, a
number of firms employed new workers to replace former employees in order to
avoid paying social insurance. Some firms had unattractive salary policies and
were constantly employing unskilled workers to replace workers who left because
the salaries were too low.

Which sectors need workers?

that require skilled workers, such as in information technology, banking and
finance and services industries, have a steady demand. However, it is essential
to focus more on vocational training. In fact, industrial production need more
skilled workers than university graduates, particularly in industrial and export
processing zones.

Nam News

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