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Firms find skills hard to come by

Update: November, 20/2015 - 08:32
Firms' representatives interview labourers at a job fair. Foreign companies in HCM City are finding it increasingly difficult to find experienced professionals with foreign language skills as they await Viet Nam's signing of various trade deals and an imminent economic boom. — VNA/VNS Photo Anh Tuan

HCM CITY (VNS) — Foreign companies in HCM City's industrial parks and technology zones are finding it increasingly difficult to find experienced professionals with foreign language skills as they await Viet Nam's signing of various trade deals and an imminent economic boom.

Bui Thanh Ngoc, deputy head of the HCM City Export Processing and Industrial Zone Authority (HEPZA)'s Job and Enterprise Supporting Service Centre, told Viet Nam News that more than 900 people with these qualifications would be needed this year, mostly by foreign firms — especially Japanese — an increase of 30 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Le Bang Giang, deputy manager of the District 9-based Sai Gon Hi-tech Park's Consultancy and Recruitment Department, said the park's 10 companies would need around 30-40 managers this year to fill up positions like IT team leaders or head accountants, a 30 per cent rise year-on-year.

The positions require up to five years' experience and English language — or Japanese in case of Japanese firms –skills, he said.

"It is very difficult to find people with these qualifications."

Nidec Viet Nam Corporation, which manufactures motor fans at the park, alone needs 10 technicians, interpreters, and quality assurance and control experts, he said.

Nguyen Huu Thien Y, employee relations manager at Theodore Alexander, a manufacturer of wooden furniture and accessories at the Linh Trung Export Processing Zone in Thu Duc District, is hiring 10 production managers, engineers, welders, carvers, and people to develop and design wooden accessories.

Besides being graduates and experts at their work, employees also need to be able to communicate in English with the company's foreign experts, she said.

"It is often difficult to find skilled welders and carvers."

It is also hard to find experts at mixing colour, and most of the people working at the company are from the Philippines, she said.

Tran Xuan Hai, head of the city Employment Introduction Centre, said the first job fair for foreign enterprises his centre organised last month, 34 Japanese, Korean, Russian, Malaysian, Taiwanese and other firms came looking to recruit 1,213 workers.

They were looking for mechanical and electrical-electronics engineers; finance, HR, marketing, and sales professionals; warehouse managers; interpreters and others.

Ngoc of HEPZA, a co-organiser of the fair, said only 1,185 people applied at the fair and online and 405 were hired on the spot.

Decision-making ability

Takashi Kimoto, general manager, administration, at Panasonic Viet Nam, said while he is mostly satisfied with his Vietnamese staff, they lack decision-making ability.

To compete with workers coming from other countries for employment under Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, Vietnamese should improve their professional skills, he warned.

Ryosuke Fujiwara, managing director of V-Stainless Steel Co.Ltd based in Dong Nai Province, was also ambivalent about his Vietnamese workers' capabilities.

"They learn new knowledge and skills rapidly, but the rapidity is their weakness because when they work rapidly they ignore several small important details. They lack meticulousness." — VNS

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