Highly-trained workers in demand for logistics field

November 23, 2023 | 10:09
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Although recruitment demand is high and income levels particularly attractive, the logistics field is still in short supply of workers, especially highly-trained ones.

At the VET International Forum taking place at the end of October, Assoc. Ho Thi Thu Hoa, director of the Vietnam Logistics Research and Development Institute (LRDI), said that the country still needs to add about 2.2 million workers in the industry by the end of the decade, of which at least 200,000 would be high-quality workers with professional expertise.

“Logistics businesses are thirsty for human resources (HR) in all positions,” Hoa said. “Although the demand is great, to be recruited into good positions, workers in addition to professional knowledge also need to meet many criteria such as communication skills, foreign languages, and the ability to adapt to IT.”

Logistics is one of the industries with the fastest growth rate in Vietnam, but strong development also leads to gaps which are related to HR.

Highly-trained workers in demand for logistics field
Highly-trained workers in demand for logistics field, illustration photo/ Source: Shutterstock

According to data from the LRDI, current HR only meet about 10 per cent of the industry’s needs. With 30,000 businesses currently doing business in logistics-related fields, of which over 4,000 businesses are companies with international connection services, the industry is in a state of severe shortage of HR and is in urgent need of access to rapid training and additional training to keep pace with development.

Le Tan Dung, Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs, said that the scale of Vietnam’s logistics market reaches $40-42 billion per year and continues to grow.

“Vietnam’s goal by 2025 is to increase the contribution of logistics services to GDP to 8-10 per cent. HR development is the most important solution to realise this goal,” Dung noted.

Vu Ninh, member of the Board of Directors at Gemadept Group and chairman of the Logistics Industry Reference Council, said that HR is an important factor in promoting the sustainable development of the industry.

“The majority of workers in the logistics industry today come from the vocational training sector, while the ratio of HR between vocational training and university training in Vietnam is unbalanced,” Ninh said. “When vocational training does not ensure enough skills, or there are skills but proficiency levels are not high, this will also lead to low labour productivity.”

Gemadept works in seaports and logistics services with a workforce of 1,500 people. Two-thirds work directly at ports and warehouses, and only one-third have university or Master’s degrees.

According to data from the General Directorate of Vocational Training, the proportion of workers with university training in many countries around the world is lower than the number of workers with vocational training. On average, for every one person studying at university, there will be 2-3 people at college and 3-5 people at intermediate level, but in Vietnam, while 10 people at university, there is only one person at vocational training.

“Each well-trained employee will create high productivity, reduce risks, and bring more benefits to businesses. Gemadept is coordinating with vocational education institutions to strengthen programmes in conjunction with businesses to train skills for logistics workers, helping them elevate their skills and increase their incomes,” said Ninh.

Nguyen Minh Duc, vice rector of Vietnam Maritime University (VMA), said that there are very few people working at logistics enterprises that possess international certificates, such as FIATA diplomas.

“The ability to provide HR from training facilities is still limited due to the shortage of lecturers, practice facilities, payment costs, and incentives for lecturers or scientist in logistics,” Duc said.

VMA is the only institution training bachelor’s degrees in logistics in the northern port city of Haiphong, the largest logistics centre in the north of the country. With a capacity of about 300 students a year and about 1,000 students with majors related to logistics, the facility still cannot meet the needs of local logistics HR.

According to statistics, by 2025, Haiphong will need about 370,000 logistics workers, including more than 252,000 trained workers.

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