Vietnam needs more qualified workers

By Anh Duy   November 28, 2019 | 06:10 pm PT
Vietnam needs more qualified workers
A worker at a factory in northern Hai Phong City. Photo by VnExpress/Anh Duy.
Vietnam should improve its workforce quality and create better jobs if it’s to escape the middle income trap, experts say.

As of 2018, only 12 percent of jobs in Vietnam were high-skilled, while 54 percent were medium-skilled jobs and the remaining 34 percent were low skilled ones, Valentina Barcucci, an economist with the International Labour Organization (ILO), said at the Vietnam Labour Forum 2019 on Wednesday.

The percentage of high-skilled jobs was low compared to the global average for upper-middle-income countries, who have 20 percent of their jobs in this category, she said.

"Vietnam does not need more jobs, but needs better jobs. Although its unemployment rate is very low, job quality is still a challenge," Barcucci said.

The unemployment rate stood at 1.99 percent in the first nine months of year, according to the General Statistics Office.

With the rise of Industry 4.0, the large amount of low-quality, low-cost labour in Vietnam would stop being an advantage. As such, developing high-quality labour is an inevitable requirement to ensure Vietnam can develop strongly, said Vo Tan Thanh, Vice President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).

"To become a high-middle-income country by 2030, Vietnam needs social improvements in parallel with economic development. Fortunately, Vietnam is taking the right steps such as improving the skills for the workforce, expanding social security coverage, and modernizing labour institutions," said Chang-Hee Lee, ILO Vietnam Director.

The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs estimates Vietnam’s current workforce at 56 million people.

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