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Tony Milton MRICS

BSc (Hons) Est Man

Central Province IPs Lack Sufficient High Skilled Workers
Friday, 16 March 2001
The low skill level of workers in central Vietnam's IPs is stymieing their development, according to market analysts. Authorities in Quang Nam and Quang Ngai provinces and the port city of Da Nang rus The low skill level of workers in central Vietnam\rquote s IPs is stymieing their development, according to market analysts. Authorities in Quang Nam and Quang Ngai provinces and the port city of Da Nang rushed to construct IPs in recent years in the hope of spurring economic growth. But too little attention was paid to attracting qualified staff, analysts say. Large scale IPs like Dung Quat in Quang Ngai Province, Lien Chieu in Da Nang and the Chu Lai Open Economic Zone in Quang Nam have sprung up. The industrial and economic zones succeeded in attracting more foreign and domestic investment and creating employment for local people but they have fallen well short of expectations. The main problem, economists assert is the low skill level of their work force. This situation will be exacerbated as the IPs look to recruit an additional 700,000 to 1 million workers by 2005. While this expansion may be good news for the unemployed in the area, analysts are concerned the IPs will fail to recruit sufficient numbers of skilled workers. At present, managers, engineers and technical workers account for just 4.3% of the central region\rquote s workforce - far below the 40 to 45% economists say will be needed by 2010. Worse still, many of the skilled workers are employed in fields different from those in which they hold qualifications. To guarantee an adequate supply of highly skilled workers for local IPs, central authorities need to tailor the workforce to suit the demands of local enterprises. The provinces must draft a long-term vocational training strategy including specific plans to meet the needs of local industry. The central region\rquote s 3 universities - Da Nang, Hue and Qui Nhon - and its numerous high schools and vocational training institutions should co-operate to ensure students get appropriate training, observers assert. Encouraging local labourers to participate in vocational training courses would also be of great benefit. Developing incentives to encourage professionals specialising in key industries to relocate to the central province is another strategy worth exploring.
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