ASEAN Economic Community to open door for more foreign workers in Vietnam
VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnam has been warned that it could witness a strong wave of workers from ASEAN countries after the the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) becomes official next year.
Ryan Lee, managing director of Moldpia Byuckjin, a South Korean enterprise specializing in making prototypes at its factory in the Thach That Industrial Zone in Hanoi, said the company set up in Viet Nam to take full advantage of the cheap and skilled labor force. However, he said that the company realised that recruiting skilled workers was not as easy as they had thought.
“The labor force is abundant, but qualifications were lower than expected,” he noted.
In order to find qualified workers, the company has had to cooperate with the Hyundai Vocational Training Center, which helps find Vietnamese workers who have worked at factories in South Korea from four to five years.
Meanwhile, to recruit administrative personnel, the company looks for candidates among new university graduate, who then have to undergo training courses in English and soft skills.
Ryan said he was not recruiting workers outside Vietnam, but once the AEC takes shape, he will consider employing technically skilled workers from Malaysia.
Mark Lee, managing director of the Singapore-based garment company SL Global Pte, which has factories in Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, China and Vietnam, also complained that it is difficult to find technically skilled officers, skilled workers, and finance and accountancy managers in Vietnam.
He also noted that Vietnam now applies very strict regulations on the employment of foreign workers, so he hopes that the AEC will help him find workers from ASEAN countries.
Foreign invested enterprises also face a similar situation. A survey of 200 tourism businesses on their requirements for workers, which was conducted recently in the central region, showed that most business owners were not satisfied with the qualification of new graduates.
Therefore, an analyst warned, once AEC forms, which will create a single labor market in ASEAN, workers will flock to Vietnam from 10 ASEAN countries and compete with Vietnamese workers.
Meanwhile, a senior official of the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) has reassured the public that the situation will not be serious once the AEC begins.
He said not all foreign investors’ wishes can be satisfied because only some positions, such as engineers, accountants, architects, doctors, dentists, nurses and midwives, geodesist (mathematicians who deal with the shape of the earth), or occupations related to tourism, will be able to move freely within AEC.
Nguyen Thi Van Anh, managing director of Navigos Search, a human resource service firm, noted that of these eight occupation groups, conventional accountants and production engineers can be found in Vietnam. However, highly qualified engineers, especially information technology engineers, are seriously lacking.
Anh predicted that many foreign investors would come to Vietnam to invest in the service and healthcare sectors, which are believed to have great potential in Vietnam. If this happens, the number of workers in the sectors will increase rapidly.