Numerous challenges lie ahead for Vietnam's abundant unskilled workforce, according to a new report from the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs.
The report, released on June 23rd, presented a collaborative effort between the labor ministry and the International Labor Organization (ILO). The findings indicated that the government will have to make some large scale changes to remain competitive in the global market and protect its citizens from falling through the cracks.
More than 65 percent of the 2007 Vietnamese labor force lacked vocational training, according the report.
In addition to a dearth of skilled workers, the report revealed that Vietnam has fallen behind other ASEAN nations in the areas of job growth and productivity quotas.
"A lack of training [compared with other ASEAN countries] limits our workforce's competitiveness in the global market," labor deputy minister Dam Huu Dac told reporters following the release of the findings.
Dac hoped that international firms would consider investing in training the Vietnamese workforce.
Where's the beef?
Nguyen Thi Lan Huong, director of the Institute of Labor Science told reporters that, despite strong economic growth, job generation has been rather weak in Vietnam.
From 2004-2008 every percentage jump in the gross domestic product [GDP] saw a mere 0.28 percent rise in employment, according to the report. "This will prove a big challenge for Vietnam, going forward," Huong said.
Huong told reporters that labor productivity grew rapidly, about 5.1 percent per year between 2000 and 2007. In spite the of the strides, Vietnam's overall output measured up to be just 61.4 percent of the average ASEAN output a figure which pales in comparison to regional competitors like Malaysia and Singapore.
The low productivity index will prove to be an obstacle for Vietnam's ability to move up the chain in regional and global markets, Huong said.
The report suggested that Vietnam should improve social security towards the most vulnerable segments of its society by developing compulsory and voluntary social insurance for workers in informal sectors.
The authors further urged officials to promote unemployment insurance programs and increase government investment in the social security system.
Reported by Bao Van