Vietnam scrambles to meet skilled labour demand

As the biggest benefactor of the US-China trade war, Vietnam is feeling the squeeze as companies open manufacturing plants in the country.
By: | October 14, 2019

With only 12% of its workforce classed as highly skilled, Vietnam is struggling to meet the demand from companies that want to bypass China and set up factories in Southeast Asia.

Many major multinational companies are relocating to Vietnam to benefit from lower labour costs, government incentives and to avoid the US-China spat over trade tariffs. Google parent Alphabet and Nintendo recently announced plans to open operations in Vietnam.

Those companies that have already moved factories and manufacturing capabilities to Vietnam have helped boost exports by 21.5% for the first eight months of this year.

While unskilled, manual labour is in plentiful supply, there is a dearth of skilled labour in Vietnam for roles like IT workers, engineers, and managers. Rapid investment in Vietnam’s high-tech sector has exacerbated the situation and is creating fierce competition for talent among new investors.

One solution has been to expand vocational training to build a bigger pool of skilled workers to meet domestic and international demand, and put Vietnam on par with the rest of the Asean region.