EuroCham Speaks at VCCI - ManpowerGroup Seminar: EVFTA – Opportunities and Challenges for Vietnamese Workforce

On the 17th of September, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and ManpowerGroup co-organised a seminar entitled: "EU–Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA): Opportunities and Challenges for Vietnamese Workforce”. The seminar aimed to increase awareness among enterprises of the impacts of the EVFTA on Vietnam’s integration and labour market provide information on the amended Labour Code to be presented to the National Assembly in October, and to share solutions to improve the quality of the Vietnamese workforce.
EuroCham Vice Chairman Nguyen Hai Minh and Human Resources & Training Sector Committee Vice Chairwoman Le Ngoc Thien Phuong participated and discussed the prospects of the EVFTA and how the Vietnamese workforce could utilise fully the opportunities of the agreement.

President of VCCI Dr. Vu Tien Loc said Vietnam’s labour force quality still left much to be desired. A recent VCCI survey showed 85 per cent of businesses in the country were facing difficulties finding skilled workers and managers. A lack of skilled workers has discouraged high-tech companies to make heavy investments in Vietnam.
In addition, companies will have to implement a number of changes to their current labour policies to meet with the EVFTA’s labour standards, such as making commitments to ensure workers’ rights to collective bargaining, eliminate forced and child labour as well as workplace discrimination. He called for shortened and more practical courses as well as increased involvement of the business sector in education and vocational training.

VCCI Chairman Dr. Vu Tien Loc delivering his opening speech at the seminar

On behalf of EuroCham, Vice Chairman Nguyen Hai Minh’s speech focused on two key issues: the quality of labour, and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
“The European businesses have very high standards for skilled labour recruitment. The top 3 factors of our focus would be technical skills, working experience and foreign language skills, apart from soft skills needed. Improving labour productivity and skills through better education and vocational training to cope with high requirements should thus be a priority of the government and the society in the new era”, Minh said.

EuroCham Vice Chairman Nguyen Hai Minh speaking at the event

In his speech, Minh also stated that raising the awareness and implementation of CSR, in other words, to develop the labour environment, is required. On a survey on CSR done by EuroCham members, around 87% responded that CSR is important to their business operations in Vietnam, and almost 33% of those companies are implementing and applying CST standards in their operation. The European businesses look forward to having more regulations that minimize the administration control on their activities and more incentives to be applied.

Mr. Simon Matthews, Country Manager of ManpowerGroup in Vietnam, Thailand and the Middle East, emphasised that in order to achieve business growth in the context of international integration and Industry 4.0, talent development should be one of the top priorities for enterprises in Vietnam. According to “Humans Wanted, Robots Need You,” a global research study compiled by Manpower Group, up to 84% of companies worldwide will invest in training their employees in 2020.

On behalf of the Human Resources & Training Sector Committee of EuroCham, Vice Chairwoman Le Ngoc Thien Phuong also joint the panel discussion and shared her perspectives on the current challenges and measures to improve the quality of the Vietnamese labor force. With over 10 years of experience in HR and operations for large multinationals in the Asia Pacific region, similar to Mr. Minh, she emphasised the urgent need for companies to implement a number of changes to their current labour policies to meet with the EVFTA’s labour standards.

Media coverage:

Hanoi - Seminar: 17 September 2019

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