Human resources key to national growth

Update: December, 15/2017 - 08:55
Themed “Miracle on Han River to Miracle on Red River”, the forum enabled in-depth discussion among experts of both countries of policies to develop human resources. — Photo

HÀ NỘI — Education and investment in human resources (HR) are the driving force for economic development, HR experts and educators from Việt Nam and the Republic of Korea (RoK) agreed at the Global HR Forum held in Hà Nội on December 14.

Themed “Miracle on Han River to Miracle on Red River”, the forum enabled in-depth discussion among experts of both countries of policies to develop human resources.

Hoàng Quang Phòng, vice chairman of the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that according to International Labour Organisation, 86 per cent of labourers in the country’s textile and footwear sectors are at risk of future unemployment because of technological breakthroughs brought by the Fourth Industrial Revolution that will automate their jobs.

Meanwhile, the demand for jobs in the sectors of electricity, information technology, electronics and mechanics is growing. The system of professional trainings will be comprehensively impacted by this trend, he said.

Jaime Saavedra, senior director for the Education Global Practice of the World Bank, said that automation poses new challenges to governments seeking to equip their citizens with skills for employment.

Automation is expected to significantly disrupt labour markets as many jobs disappear. Yet some other jobs such as teachers, psychologists and nurses cannot easily be automated. Some workers whose jobs cannot be automated, such as hairdressers and surgeons, will find that technology will make their jobs more productive, he said.

“In the same way that technology destroys jobs, technology also creates jobs,” he said. “The ability of workers to compete with automation requires a strong educational system. The challenges for the educational system are now much more complex than what we tend to recognise.”

He emphasised three skills that individuals need in order to take advantage of technological progress. They are technical skills, socio-emotional skills and foundational skills, meaning literacy and numeracy.

“Jobs that require high socio-emotional skills such as nurses and social workers are growing. We need to teach our children and youth how to navigate interpersonal and socio-emotional challenges effectively, with the ability to overcome obstacles, be reliable, good at teamwork, communication, leadership and self-control. Most important is that they learn how to learn,” he said.

Việt Nam has a high level of commitment to investing in general education, he said. Many countries, including Việt Nam, should follow the path of RoK and provide 12 years of high quality education and build a world-class university system like Korea’s, he said.

Yoon Dae Hee, former minister of Policy Coordination of RoK, said that RoK regards exports and quality and quantity of human resources as the driving force of its economic development strategy.

From a country which developed light industry in the 1960s with a low-skilled labour force from rural areas, RoK has shifted to a knowledge-based economy that develops human resources for the information technology sector.

He said that the RoK Government will provide training to low-income people and pay attention to both quality and quantity of human resources.

The RoK, specifically the Korea International Cooperation Agency, will continue its non-refundable assistance for Việt Nam for human resource development, he said.

To increase labour productivity, Việt Nam needs to train labourers with relevant skills in each sector and increase the number of people receiving training at universities and vocational schools. In particular, vulnerable groups such as women and low-income people should not miss opportunities, he said.

"Miracle on Han River" refers to the economic development plan of the RoK, based on achievements in technology, education and urbanisation. The plan has transformed RoK from a country heavily devastated by the war in the 1950s into one of the world’s biggest economies. — VNS