HR qualities come under the spotlight

Global co-operation and education are the keys to improving the quality of Viet Nam’s human resources in the digital age, Australian and Vietnamese experts agreed at a panel discussion in Hanoi yesterday.

Australian and Vietnamese experts share their experience in labour training at a panel discussion in Hanoi on Wednesday. 

Viet Nam is experiencing a period known as the “golden population structure”. The country’s large labour force has the advantage of being young and inexpensive, said Nguyen Vinh An, Deputy Director General of the Department of Personnel and Organisation under the Ministry of Information and Communications.

Every year, an additional one million people enter the labour market.

“However, we should look at the workforce’s quality, not its quantity,” he said.

Up to 40 per cent of Vietnamese labourers are low-skilled, the highest ratio in the region, compared with only 9 per cent in Thailand, and 8 per cent in Singapore, he said.

“If Viet Nam does not take advantage of the golden population period, then aging will catch up with them and the labour force will be wasted,” he said.

He added that there is strong competitiveness in the region on technology, demand and price. The requirements of socio-economic development puts pressure on Viet Nam to dramatically increase the number of skilled workers available.

Labour migration among countries, including Viet Nam, has been ongoing and will happen more frequently, he said.

Talking specifically about the labour force of the information and communication technology sectors, An pointed out that the inadequate quantity of IT workers in Viet Nam is a hindrance on development. They lack critical thinking, he said.

Vu The Binh, vice president of Vietnam Internet Association mentioned a new concept of “human capital” in Viet Nam which combines skills, talent and knowledge of workers.

He said Vietnamese workers are knowledgeable but have problems with their skills.

According to World Economic Forum, Viet Nam ranks 64 out of 130 nations for the World Human Capital Index 2017.

“Industrial 4.0 poses both opportunities and challenges for Viet Nam. Vietnamese start-ups are active in adapting to new technology. However, Vietnamese manufacturing base has yet to complete its transformation from previous industrial revolution,” he said.

Labourers are at risk of unemployment if robots replace human, he said.

Dao Quang Vinh, Director General of Institute of Labour Science and Social Affairs under Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs said in 2018 Vietnamese labour market is predicted to be in need of 400,000 IT experts but so far there are only 80,000.

Dr Josiah Poon from school of IT, the University of Sydney highlighted the importance of soft skill training.

Associate Professor Huynh Quyet Thang, vice president of Hanoi University of Science and Technology said universities in Viet Nam should work with well-known foreign universities, businesses from Viet Nam and other countries to expand international co-operation of IT training. – VNS

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