Ho Chi Minh City: Developing High-quality Human Resources

4:38:40 PM | 10/1/2011

Ho Chi Minh City is an economic, cultural, scientific and technological centre, an international link, a training centre and a high-quality human resource transferring centre for southern provinces. But, the largest city in Vietnam is still lack of human resources, especially at high quality. In the coming years, the high-quality human resource shortage may worsen if no reasonable measures are taken.
Disparity in supply and demand
Ho Chi Minh City is the largest labour source in the country with some 4.7 million people at working age, including 3.2 million employed. The force of high-level scientists and technicians in the city currently accounts for 30 percent of the country’s total. The proportion of trained workers increased from 40 percent in 2005 to 55 percent in 2010. More than 138,000 civil servants have been trained in the country and nearly 2,000 civil servants have been sent to study abroad. The number of vocational trainers increases 1.3 times from 2005 to over 5,350 people at present. In addition to traditional industries, in recent years, many new industries have been added to training programmes. Training forms are copious and flexible.
Although it holds various advantages for human resource development, its human resources, especially high-quality ones, still fall short, failing to meet socioeconomic development requirements. The deficiency has been pointed out for years but the seriousness worsened in recent years. The supply of professional workers (at secondary level, college, university levels) to some industries is very limited and the quality is disqualified. The most serious scarcity is found in executive management, information technology, accounting, human resources, back office, finance and banking. Thus, many companies are unable to recruit desired employees.
In the outskirts, the shortage of qualified labour is exacerbated. According to the HCM City Department of Home Affairs, five outlying districts of Hoc Mon, Cu Chi, Can Gio, Binh Chanh and Nha Be seriously lack high-quality personnel in many fields. Education and health sectors are the shortest of human resources. The paucity of high-quality human resources has caused negative impacts on companies and investment environment in the city. Operations of many companies stagnate or cannot expand operations. New investors turn more anxious when they think of coming to Ho Chi Minh City as they fear of being unable to recruit enough good workers for investment and development demands.
Many reasons may be attributed to the abovementioned situation but the primary cause is the slow change in investment policymaking. The city mainly focuses on labour-intensive industries using obsolete technologies and generating low values.
On the other hand, unreasonable treatment policies are giving rise to brain drain. Well-trained workers usually choose to work for foreign companies. Many Vietnamese overseas students also want to work in foreign nations because salary and treatment policies are better than in the city. More importantly, there is a considerable gap between labour suppliers and users. This reality is significantly attributed to the shortage of long-term personnel plans from companies and the poor coordination of companies with training units.
A breakthrough programme
Ho Chi Minh City has stressed the importance of upgrading human resources in 2010 and subsequent years. The city will focus on special groups which play a decisive role and create a breakthrough in human development and socioeconomic development. In the period from 2010 to 2015, it will give priority to training enough human resources for high-tech and high-valued sectors. According to development plans, it will need to train 500,000 technical workers by 2020. The proportion of trained workers will reach 70 percent by 2015 and 80 percent by 2020. The rate must be 100 percent in four basic industries and nine service sectors.
Mr Nguyen Thanh Tai, Vice Chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee, said: To achieve the above goals, the city will have adopted incentives to attract talents, and create conditions and environment favourable for labourers to boost their competencies. Talent treatment policies require long-term specific schedule to encourage good workers to devote to the development of the city.
An important solution to training high quality human resources is to strengthen cooperation and coordination between training establishments with companies to narrow the difference of supply and demand. To boost the cooperation between schools and businesses, Ho Chi Minh City will consider opening training bazaars - a forum for businesses and schools to meet and discuss human resource demand and supply.
Deputy Director of Ho Chi Minh City Manpower Demand Forecasting and Labour Market Information Centre, Tran Anh Tuan, said: To curb labour shortage and develop high-quality human resources to match development requirements, the city needs to continue developing economic restructuring programmes in association with human resource restructuring to suit development requirements. Training establishments must base on actual social demand by strengthening cooperation with businesses and recruitment centres to anticipate the demand to have proper training programmes. More importantly, in its sustainable human resource development strategy, HCM City must quickly reform its education and training system from district to grassroots level, especially in terms of content and training methods. It is necessary to provide enough financial supports for gray matter human resource training.
High-quality human resources development investment in couple with economic restructuring will be a prerequisite to create competitive advantage for Ho Chi Minh City in the international integration process. Recognising the importance of that issue, high quality human resources development has become one of six groundbreaking programmes approved by the 9th HCM City Party Congress.
Thanh Tan