|In 2013, average labour productivity in Viet Nam was 1/15th that of Singapore, 1/5th of Malaysia's and 2/5th of Thailand.— VNA/VNS Photo Danh Lam
HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam's low labour productivity reflects more the lack of proper training and professionalism than a lack of diligence, experts and entrepreneurs say.
Reflecting this opinion, Duong Duc Lan, head of the Administration of Vocational Training under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, says pilot vocational training programmes are needed to improve the quality of workers, otherwise labour productivity in Viet Nam is bound lag behind other countries in the region.
In a commentary carried by the Dan Tri newspaper yesterday, Lan said that in nine ASEAN Skills competitions, the Vietnamese team has been ranked first twice and has always been among the top teams.
Despite this, the labour productivity in the country is among the lowest in the Asia-Pacific region, according to a recent survey done by the International labour Organisation (ILO).
In 2013, average labour productivity in Viet Nam was 1/15th that of Singapore, 1/5th of Malaysia's and 2/5th of Thailand.
The ILO report also said the productivity rates did not necessarily reflect workers' diligence and ability.
Phan Cong Minh, managing director of Viet Hung JSC in HCM City's District 12, said that his company hires roughly 2,500 labourers, many of whom are farmers with no prior job training.
As a result, many were willing to quit and do agricultural work if they were offered higher payment. This affected the company's production chain, he said.
Minh said the workforce must be trained in skills, work discipline and work responsibility if productivity has to improve.
Nguyen Toan Phong, director of Ha Noi Job Introduction Centre, said that the rate of enterprises approaching the centre for their labour needs remained low at an average of 26 per cent. In recent years, the centre has been trying in vain to increase the connectivity to 30 per cent, he added.
"It's hard to meet this target because the quality of labourers is low. We can only increase the connectivity rate when enterprises have low demand for workers," he said.
Nguyen Thi Hai Van, head of the Labour Ministry's Employment Department said that although the ILO report mentions the labour productivity of a nation depends on many factors, including the enterprises' efficient use of labour and the equipment and technologies used, Viet Nam should pay serious heed and step up efforts to improve the quality of its workforce.
She echoed other experts, saying more workers need to receive vocational training, especially in using modern equipment and machinery. Other things that need to be done include completing a legal framework for improving human resources and having a significant proportion of the workforce switch to the tourism and service sectors, she said.
Lan said the establishment of more training schools in key vocations would make a difference. If this happens, workers would have more choices when the ASEAN Economic Community comes into being next year. A skilful welder, for instance, could earn thousands of dollars and a Vietnamese welder could lose his job if his performance was not as good as his Thai or Malaysian counterpart, he said. — VNS