High-skilled labor insufficient when many technology corporations enter Vietnam

The International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) held a forum on employment in the electronics industry in Vietnam to find suitable solutions for the sustainable development of this key industry on July 15 in Hanoi.

Preliminary results from the latest survey conducted by VCCI with the support of the ILO show that about 60 percent of enterprises surveyed said that there was a shortage of skilled workers, and 50 percent of enterprises also consider the professional skill of the supervisory and management staff a challenge.

According to the Vietnam Association of Supporting Industries, by June 2022, Apple had moved 11 factories of Taiwanese enterprises in its supply chain to Vietnam. Many other firms, such as Foxconn, Luxshare, Pegatron, and Wistron, have also expanded their existing production facilities in Vietnam.

Samsung built its largest research and development center in Southeast Asia, worth US$220 million, in Hanoi. The corporation also plans to expand its factories in Bac Ninh and Thai Nguyen provinces. Earlier this year, Dong Nai Province granted investment licenses for two $100-million projects of Samsung's component supplier, Hansol Electronics Vietnam (Korea). The wave of large technology corporations moving production into Vietnam is an opportunity to create more jobs for workers in the electronics industry.

According to the ILO, Vietnam has recorded a continuous increase in the value of electronics exports every year, which now accounts for one-third of the total export value of the country.

"As one of the world's largest electronics exporters, the industry's export value exceeded $108 billion in 2021, with an estimated workforce of over 1 million people," the ILO said in its statement. However, the electronics industry in Vietnam mainly focuses on low-value-added and labor-intensive outsourcing and assembly activities.

“Through projects with financial support from the European Union and other sponsors, the ILO is working closely with the VCCI to jointly support industry partners to address the shortage of jobs satisfactorily and develop global supply chains in the electronics industry in Vietnam," the ILO added.

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