VietNamNet Bridge – The problem of finding an extra 5,000 skilled workers for the world of atomic energy that Viet Nam is about to enter was discussed at a recent seminar in Ha Noi.



People visit an international exhibition on nuclear power in Ha Noi. Viet Nam's energy agencies must speed up human-resource development to meet future demand for skilled workers. 




Organised by the Ministry of Science and Technology recently, the meeting, titled Human resources Development for Nuclear Power, pondered the need to find or create about 6,000 skilled technicians and other graduates to join the new atomic energy sector.

At present, there are only 1,300 workers in the sector. The extra 5,000 will be needed by 2020.

Brian Molloy, technical head of human resource with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said Viet Nam needed a practical and detailed plan on how to develop these human resource.

He said it would take seven to 10 years to train enough workers to operate Viet Nam's nuclear plants at Ninh Thuan Province in southern Viet Nam.

However, one thorny issue is how to create an attractive working environment and incentive programmes for highly skilled workers. It will be difficult to maintain a skilled workforce on the minimum monthly salaries of between US$150 and $250 (without bonuses and add ons which could add as much as another $150).

The workshop was part of a technical co-operation project between the Viet Nam Atomic Energy Agency (VAEA) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to develop Viet Nam infrastructure and human resource for nuclear power.

In 2012, a team of experts from the IAEA working together with the Ministry of Science and Technology drew up seven focus points and 42 recommendations for building nuclear infrastructure and developing human resources.

At the workshop deputy minister of the science ministry, Tran Viet Thanh, told Viet Nam's energy agencies to speed up human-resource development to meet future nuclear power demand for skilled workers.

He said experience sharing between Viet Nam energy agencies and IAEA's experts would improve Vietnamese workers' technical skill and knowledge.

Viet Nam has also sent 300 students to Russia to study in advanced nuclear technology.

The Viet Nam National Steering Committee on Human Resource Development for Nuclear Power, the Ministry of Education and Training and Viet Nam Electricity have introduced graduate and post-graduate programs in nuclear technology to attract more Vietnamese students.

In July, Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam has told ministries, agencies and departments to produce a comprehensive plan to develop human resource for nuclear power.

Vice director of the Ninh Thuan Nuclear Project Pham Minh Tuan said six universities and institutions in Viet Nam had been charged with developing the country's human resource for nuclear power.