Vietnam advised to improve workforce skills

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While Vietnam's economy continues its rapid growth and attracts more foreign investment, the country needs to place greater emphasis on increasing the skills of its workforce, according to ManpowerGroup.

In a press release announcing its latest research paper "Building a High-Skilled Economy: The New Vietnam," Linh Nguyen, general manager of Manpower Vietnam, a subsidiary of the US-based workforce company, said on November 8 that while low-cost and low-skilled labor has helped fuel Vietnam's growth, it also presents a major future economic challenge.

"There is a pressing need to improve the capabilities of the country's workers," Nguyen said.

A survey conducted of 10 employers by ManpowerGroup in cooperation with TNS, a global market research company, showed that Vietnam's workers were ranked in the bottom 10 percent regionally, according to the press release.

Around half of survey correspondents rated the labor force fair or poor; while one-in-three said they were unable to find the skills they need, the release said.

ManpowerGroup advised Vietnamese industry to work with government and educational institutions to create curriculums addressing current and future workforce challenges.

Vocational programming, for example, could help workers improve technological skills, project management capabilities and the ability to innovate and adapt, it said.

In the meantime, Vietnam's businesses should take a more active role in workforce development, according to the statement.

Businesses were advised to collaborate with schools and colleges to tackle weaknesses in the country's education system, and to focus on career development and better work environments, while anticipating and addressing skill shortages.

"With the right focus on up-skilling the workforce, Vietnam can take advantage of its young, industrious workforce that has enormous potential and an economic climate ripe for entrepreneurship," said Darryl Green, president of ManpowerGroup Asia Pacific and Middle East.

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