Labour shortage looms as year-end approaches

November 08, 2022 - 08:07
Seasonal workers are often in demand during the year-end, but many companies are saying they struggle to find skilled workers.
Job seekers at the service counter of Hà Nội Centre for Employment Services (HCES). — Photo

HÀ NỘI — A labour shortage is being reported in major cities across the country, putting more pressure on businesses to respond to the increasing volume of contracts as the year-end period approaches.

During this time of the year, businesses often recruit more seasonal workers, but many companies are saying they struggle to find skilled workers.

Huỳnh Kim Ngọc, deputy HR manager of Đông Anh Steel Tower Co. Ltd., said that his firm has 10 open positions for technicians. The monthly salary ranges from VNĐ10-15 million (US$400-600) with benefits.

However, recruiting people with the right skills around the end of the year is quite difficult, he said.

Lê Thị Hải Vân, HR manager of AEON Vietnam Co. Ltd., said that until the year-end, the firm is looking to hire full-time or part-time workers for its supermarkets’ food, fashion, and household appliance sections.

She said: “We are searching for applicants from multiple sources, from our Facebook page, internal network and employment platforms.

“The end of the year is when shopping demands are expected to increase, therefore the need for labour is also rising, especially for skilled young people.”

In HCM City and nearby provinces of Bình Dương, Đồng Nai and Long An, many companies are going to employment centres on a weekly basis, but reported that it is not easy to find suitable applicants.

Duy Anh Foods, a food export company based in HCM City, needs to recruit up to 300 workers in 2022. It has only achieved around 60 per cent of this goal.

A representative said that the business has been in a rush to recruit enough workers in the new normal period post-COVID, saying that: “If we have enough people in our workforce, export output could increase up to 30 to 40 per cent, instead of just three or four tonnes of goods per day as currently.”

According to the vice chairman of HCM City Union of Business Associations Trần Việt Anh, there is a lack of balance in training in Việt Nam’s labour market, as the education does not match the actual requirements.

One of the examples is how the packaging industry has a huge demand for labour, and Foreign direct investment (FDI) firms are putting significant investment into this sector. And yet schools offering this major could be “counted on one hand”.

Another example is how the recycling industry is part of the circular economy, and every importer needs recycled goods. However, Việt Nam does not have an institution that offers training in this field.

This means if businesses need labourers with those skills, they would have to face an extended period of time and high costs to come up with their own training programme, he said.

According to the Centre of Forecasting Manpower Needs and Labour Market Information of HCM City (FALMI), the business labour demands will translate to around 77,000 job openings, especially around the year-end to accommodate Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday orders.

Demands are high in the sector of trade and services at 66 per cent, followed by industries and construction at 33 per cent.

Around 15 per cent of businesses are also hiring part-time employees to meet the increasing demands for the Tết holiday.

Vũ Quang Thành, deputy director of the Hà Nội Centre for Employment Services, said that data from recruiters on the platform also shows high labour demands for the sector of trade and services, especially for seasonal workers.

It is followed by food processing, e-commerce, logistics, information technology, finance and banking. There is less demand in the manufacturing sector, but the quality of recruits is expected to be higher as these firms aim for skilled workers with high commitment.

To connect stakeholders in the labour market, Hà Nội Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs is planning to hold a seminar that connects the human resources under training in the city’s vocational schools to businesses, in addition to its current mobile job fairs.

According to the Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Đào Ngọc Dung, the labour market is reviving fast thanks to support policies that offer rent payment and welfare services to workers.

The market sees around 51.9 million people, an increase of 2.8 million compared to the same period last year.

The rate of active labourers reaches 68.7 per cent, while the current unemployment rate is 2.28 per cent. — VNS