The population is golden but the quality of labor is not

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Many synchronous solutions are needed to recover the labor supply chain after the pandemic. Photo: T.D
Many synchronous solutions are needed to recover the labor supply chain after the pandemic. Photo: T.D

The risk of losing the opportunity to attract FDI after the pandemic

Assessing the labor market, Chairman of the Vietnam Confederation of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Pham Tan Cong said that clear results in the country’s economic recovery after the pandemic have helped the enterprise community regain the growth rate, and at the same time bring prosperity to the labor market in Vietnam.

Along with that, the labor supply and demand in the labor market has also changed dramatically. Under the double impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Industrial Revolution 4.0, Vietnam’s labor market is undergoing drastic changes, in which two major challenges have emerged.

That is, there is a shortage of skilled workers, and very rapid changes in skill requirements for workers under the impact of technological change, especially the impact of the Industrial Revolution 4.0.

The above changes make it increasingly difficult to match supply and demand in the labor market, especially in positions that require high skills.

The above challenge is also a bottleneck for Vietnamese enterprises in recovery and development, as well as the risk that Vietnam will lose the opportunity to attract FDI inflows to shift after the Covid-19 pandemic and fluctuations in international politics.

In fact, Vietnam is still in the “golden” population stage, but the quality of labor is not yet “golden”. The rate of workers with degrees and certificates is only 26.1%.

Most of the labor structure has limited skills, low income, and has not yet met the requirements of employers and the market. The change of labor skills depends on training, but the change of formal training programs at vocational education schools always lags behind the demand in the labor market. Therefore, short-term training programs directly at enterprises are considered one of the optimal solutions to solve the current shortage of labor skills.

Overcoming the above situation, the policy to support training to maintain jobs for employees when facing difficulties due to the Covid-19 pandemic needs to be more flexible in the coordination mechanism between the employee and the employer.

Between vocational education and training institutions ensure plans suitable to the job position needs of enterprises. Extending the policy implementation time and adjusting the conditions so that more businesses and workers can participate. The National Assembly and the Government consider having income tax reduction incentives for enterprises conducting internal training programs at enterprises that meet the standards of internal training in enterprises.

The mechanism for enterprises to participate in training and certification for workers

Vietnam has a goal and aspiration to become a high-income developed country by 2045. The key is to quickly build a golden-quality workforce, with high productivity, and high income. Doing this, it is necessary to have strong and breakthrough solutions, including facilitating and promoting the role of enterprises not only as users but as subjects directly participating in vocational skills training for workers.

Representing small and medium enterprises, Chairman of the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises Nguyen Van Than said that small and medium enterprises account for 98% of about 800,000 enterprises, attracting about 60% of employees.

However, the labor demand of enterprises is very large, therefore, Mr. Nguyen Van Than suggested some contents such as studying the salary regime suitable for high-skilled workers, and breakthrough thinking to keep them.

At the same time, consider and study the reduction of corporate income tax for small and medium-sized enterprises if it is proved that training and retraining for employees (instead of proving costs with complicated invoices and documents). At present, it is advisable to study for enterprises to receive tax reductions similar to the case of enterprises employing many female employees, workers with disabilities, etc.

There are solutions to facilitate labor movement at home and abroad, encourage laborers to train, export workers abroad to work, and develop social housing for them to return home safely. Especially study the flexible salary model, for example, employees can get salary in advance when needed to avoid loan sharks and black credit; research and develop industrial cities as many countries have done to create favorable conditions for workers to live and work.

As a locality with a large number of employees, Chairman of the People’s Committee of Bac Giang province Le Anh Duong said that Bac Giang has determined that improving the quality of human resources and developing an integrated labor market is one of the breakthroughs.

“We believe that in order to develop a flexible, modern, sustainable and integrated labor market, it is necessary to focus on a number of key solutions such as harmonious development between general education, higher education and vocational education. There are regulations on the ratio of technical labor between Vietnamese and foreign workers in enterprises. On the Bac Giang side, we have a training strategy in the near future to have enough human resources to replace nearly 10,000 foreign workers working in industrial zones. Finally, it is necessary to have a mechanism for enterprises, especially foreign-invested enterprises, to participate in training and issue vocational training certificates for workers. In fact, enterprises train employees at enterprises, but mechanisms and policies have not been completed, so there is no recognized certificate. When the mechanism is in place, businesses with new and new technologies can participate in vocational training for local workers, creating a sustainable value chain,” said Chairman of Bac Giang Provincial People’s Committee.

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