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VietNamNews

Firms lose sleep over brain drain

Update: March, 08/2014 - 08:21

HA NOI (VNS)  — Seeking to lure bright graduates, Japanese IT firms are offering high monthly wages of $1,500-2,000 to attract Vietnamese software engineers.

Vietnamese firms suffer constant anxiety about this brain-drain, as larger numbers of IT engineers with fluent Japanese skills leave to work in Japan, reports ICTnews online.

Analysts have noted that the demand for IT engineers with fluent Japanese language skills has been rapidly increasing as large numbers of Japanese software outsourcing firms have been flocking to Viet Nam.

Meanwhile, orders for software outsourcing have come in large numbers. As a result, domestic and foreign firms have been fighting to hire qualified workers.

Ta Son Tung, Managing Director of Rikkei Soft in Viet Nam, said Japanese firms were willing to pay two to three times more than Vietnamese companies to recruit qualified workers.

In Viet Nam, new university graduates who have Japanese language certificates and a bachelor's degree can earn an "average" $600 per month. Meanwhile, Japanese companies are paying these same graduates up to $2,000 per month, according to Tung.

"It is very difficult to find candidates with fluent Japanese skills. Rikkei Soft has not found anyone this year, even though it has raised the salaries," he said.

A senior executive of a Vietnamese firm said the largest problem for domestic firms did not lie in a lack of orders, but in the lack of workers.

"It is easier nowadays to approach the Japanese market. However, we don't have enough workers to fulfill all the orders," he said.

Tung of Rikkei Soft confirmed this, saying his firm received enough orders for all of 2014 after attending the Vietnam IT Day in Japan, an important event held recently.

"The demand is big. But the workforce is still a problem," Tung said.

Pham Thai Son, CEO of NTQ-Solution, also said that Viet Nam had the opportunity to increase the exports of software to Japan by two fold in 2014. However, it would need to solve its labor force problem to turn this into reality.

It is obvious that Vietnamese firms are less competitive than Japanese, in terms of the pay they can offer IT engineers. What should they do to attract qualified workers then?

Analysts believe that the best solution for domestic firms is training students themselves. NTQ Solution, for example, supported eight students in 2013. Five of them have since been recruited by the company.

"Candidates need to be good at both technology and Japanese," said Son of NTQ Solution. "We encourage candidates to learn Japanese at foreign language centers, and we are willing to pay the tuitions for foreign language courses."

Some domestic firms have proposed that the government and involved ministries set up policies which aim to prevent Japanese firms from recruiting Vietnamese engineers by offering high pay. — VNS


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