|The number of shipping workers in Việt Nam fell from more than 45,000 in 2014 to 39,000 last year.–VNA/VNS Photo Phúc Sơn|
HCM CITY — Universities need to train nearly 15,000 navigating officers and other shipping personnel by 2020 to address a shortage of human resources in the maritime industry, according to Dr Nguyễn Đức Ca of the Việt Nam National Institute of Educational Sciences.
Speaking at a conference on human resources late last year he had said that they also should train additional 6,000 captains and first officers.
Marine engineers would also be needed to ensure development of the country’s maritime economy, he added.
Statistics from the Việt Nam Maritime Administration show that the number of naval personnel had fallen from more than 45,000 in 2014 to 39,000 last May, with the sailor numbers falling especially sharply.
According to Vũ Khắc Cường of the administration, many people moved to shore-based jobs.
Besides, high school students do not want to apply for shipping-related university courses, he said.
Ca said nearly 90 per cent of graduates from such courses do not work in the shipping industry.
Võ Hồng Khánh, director of Tân Đại Dương Shipping Joint Stock Company, said vessel owners do not pay social insurance premiums for their staff.
Failure to pay salaries as shipping companies make losses is another reason for people in the industry giving up their jobs, he said.
Salaries for sailors in Việt Nam at around VNĐ10 million (US$430) a month are lower than in other countries. For instance, in China, the average pay is VNĐ14-15 million while in Japan and South Korea it is VNĐ30-34 million.
Lê Việt Trung of Biển Đông Shipping Company said the Government should fix minimum wages for sailors and others in entry-level jobs at $600-650 per month.
This would attract people and persuade students to apply for maritime courses, he said.
Vietnamese sailors working on foreign ships do not have to pay income tax, while those working on local vessels have to, and this should be changed, he said.
Bùi Việt Hoài, deputy general director of the Việt Nam National Shipping Lines, said universities should tie up with large shipping companies to enable their students to intern. — VNS