Why is it so hard to hire skilled workers in Vietnam?

By Ha Phuong   January 1, 2017 | 11:00 am PT
A new report finds Vietnam has the largest low-skilled workforce in the region.

Vietnam's labor market is comprised mostly of low and medium-skilled workers while Singapore and Malaysia both boast skilled, service-based workforces, according to Human Capital Outlook: Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) 2016.

The report also pointed out that it is fairly difficult to find skilled labor in Vietnam.

Over half the Singaporean workforce qualifies as skilled, while in Vietnam that ratio falls to one in ten.

Vietnam had the highest ratio of low-skilled labor in the region (over 40 percent) compared to 9 percent in Thailand and 8 percent in Singapore.

Each Vietnamese worker in 2016 contributed $3,853 (in current prices) to the economy, up five percent compared to last year, according to data released on Wednesday. 

Vietnam's labor productivity rose by 14.4 percent in half a decade, but it remains far behind the regional average.

The coming decade is expected to usher in a new era of energy technologies, cheap processing power, data analytics and flexible and remote working practices, which may lead to significant net job creation.

Management and business, legal and financial employment are expected to expand.

To meet these expectations, however, ASEAN states will need to ensure their workforces are appropriately skilled and able to adapt.

Low-cost labor will no longer present a competitive advantage to Vietnam.

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