Vietnam lacks “knowledge workers", blames shortage on training

VietNamNet Bridge - The requirements for workers in the future have changed. Only “knowledge workers" will be able to operate automatic machines and fix problems which cannot be done by robots. 


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The requirements for workers in the future have changed



However, Vietnam is seriously lacking a workforce of this kind.

Erwin Schweisshelm from Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Institute Vietnam said the local economy has begun taking full advantage of advanced technology with plants shifting to use automation, robotics, IoT and blockchain technology.

In such a context, the lack of a workforce capable of serving the digitalized economy is becoming worrying as 40 percent of foreign invested enterprises (FIEs) said it is difficult to recruit skilled workers in Vietnam.

A research project of the institute found that Vietnam lacks skilled workers for semi-automation works, let alone knowledge workers for automation. 

The country ranks 70th in terms of worker capability, according to the 2018 World Economic Forum (WEF). Despite great efforts to reform vocational training, Vietnam still ranks 87th among 90 surveyed countries in training capability and skilled worker attraction.

The country ranks 70th in terms of worker capability, according to the 2018 World Economic Forum (WEF). Despite great efforts to reform vocational training, Vietnam still ranks 87th among 90 surveyed countries in training capability and skilled worker attraction.

Some universities pointed out that Vietnam lacks knowledge workers because of the education approach. At present, vocational schools set enrollment plans based on demand from parents and students, not on demand or needs of the society and economy.

Vietnamese want to go to university after finishing high education, vocational school is seen as the last resort. Only 10 percent of high school graduates choose vocational training, but the labor market needs more skilled workers.

Poor training programs are also a cause behind the low quality of school graduates. While the market changes regularly, the training curricula remains about the same. 

Experts said that state-owned vocational schools cannot fulfill the role of providing high-quality workers to the market. This is because state-owned schools don’t have the pressure of competition and still cannot enjoy autonomy.

Dang Hoang Vi from the Nam Dinh Vocational Junior College said students need to practice with machines. However, with limited capital, vocational schools cannot buy equipment for lessons.

One of the solutions is to have vocational schools cooperate with enterprises in training, which would give students opportunities to work with machines at enterprises. However, only private vocational schools are aware of the importance of cooperation with enterprises.

Experts say it is necessary to call for synergy from all resources in society. They have called on to enact a law under which relevant resources would have responsibility to help reform vocational training.


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Thanh Lich

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