Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — The Institute of Bioinformatics has to replace the entire workforce at the Bioinformatics Bureau since all its employees have quit.
Dr Chu Hoàng Hà, head of the institute, said though he would have liked to retain the experienced workers, he understood their desire to find better-paying jobs elsewhere.
The institute only pays young employees a monthly salary of VNĐ4-5 million (US$180-225) and people with doctorates, VNĐ10 million, whereas they could get VNĐ120 million at private hospitals and companies, he said.
Similarly, many workers at the Nuclear Science and Technology Centre have sought employment opportunities at higher salaries.
Many institutes and universities in the country faced a similar situation.
Losing well-trained employees to foreign enterprises is now the biggest problem facing research institutes and it is a big challenge for them to find replacements, according to experts.
The Bioinformatics Bureau has had to persuade some of the staff to do more than one job to hold the fort.
Hà said in the 1970s and 1980s the Việt Nam Academy of Science and Technology had recruited outstanding students who had studied at overseas universities. In the past 15 years, it had sent more than 200 students to study abroad, but less than 30 per cent returned to Việt Nam, half of them to the academy to work, he said.
But gradually many have moved to other jobs, he said.
Prof Phùng Hồ Hả, head of the Institute of Mathematics, said the institute has difficulty in recruiting new staff because it demands high professional standards but cannot pay commensurately.
The talent shortage had hit research work, he said. The country has only seven research workers per 10,000 population while the master plan for the development of science and technology in 2011 – 20 recommends 11 – 12.
Prof Hoàng Ngọc Long of the Institute of Physics (under the Việt Nam Academy of Science and Technology) warned that if the situation does not improve, in the next decade Việt Nam would face a shortage of researchers and universities would lack staff to teach technology. — VNS