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Manufacturers still struggling with HR shortages

Released at: 19:12, 30/11/2018

Manufacturers still struggling with HR shortages

Photo: Duc Thanh

Navigos Group releases "The Labor Market in Manufacturing - Opportunities & Challenges in the 4.0 Era" report on November 26.

by My Van

Despite a tendency among employees not to frequently change jobs, manufacturers are still struggling with human resources (HR) shortages in terms of both quantity and quality, according to a report entitled “The Labor Market in Manufacturing - Opportunities & Challenges in the 4.0 Era” released by the Navigos Group on November 26.

Over 3,200 candidates currently working or seeking jobs in the sector, along with over 200 employers, on VietnamWorks and Navigos Search’s database were surveyed for the purpose of the report.

“Stability” is the top priority for jobseekers, as reported by 41 per cent of candidate respondents. This is consistent with the opinion of 57 per cent of employers, who agree that providing “a stable job” plays a substantial role in retention.

The report shows a clear tendency in the manufacturing workforce to commit long-term to their employers, as 73 per cent of employers have turnover rates of below 20 per cent. Forty per cent of candidates said they have stayed with their current employer for over five years.

Nevertheless, an alarming 55 per cent employees reported their employer experienced HR shortages, which created a surge in the workload of existing staff. Thirty-five per cent of employers responded that they lacked a qualified workforce.

Despite having a stronger commitment, manufacturing HR are found to change jobs for various reasons relating to the nature of the industry. On top of unsatisfactory salary, compensation and benefits, the location of suburban workplaces far from city centers and polluted working environments (air, noise) are among the top 5 reasons for quitting.

The two are also considered the biggest challenges of working in manufacturing, as claimed by 36 per cent and 26 per cent of candidates, respectively. At the same time, 39 per cent of employers agreed that remote workplaces restricted their recruitment.

Another highlight from the report is that the manufacturing sector is transforming towards automation.

Forty-six per cent of enterprise are automating up to 30 per cent of all manufacturing processes and 32 per cent have achieved 30 to 70 per cent automation. These notable numbers stem from the current technological transition, made possible by manufacturing businesses who “invest in machinery” (65 per cent), “invest in databases” (41 per cent), “adjust management and operations” (44 per cent), “modify training” (39 per cent), and “modify recruitment” (21 per cent).

Employees also showed their active attitude towards change, by strengthening technical knowledge and skills (53 per cent) and language competency (47 per cent). While recognizing technological transition will have the gravest impact on blue-collar workers, both groups shared the opinion that “automation is inevitable in manufacturing”.

“The manufacturing sector in Vietnam has remained a leading industry with high potential for economic growth,” said Mr. Gaku Echizenya, CEO of the Navigos Group Vietnam. “However, unless actions are taken to accelerate the technological transition, we risk losing our attractive profile in the eyes of foreign investors to other developing countries in the area. All in all, efforts made by businesses to invest in machinery and tools must be solidified by improving the quality of manpower.”

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