Vietnam’s Strategy to Attract and Develop Talent

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Vietnam’s skilled labor force has been a key point of interest for foreign firms of late. This is on the back of a strong push from the Vietnamese government toward developing the country’s high-tech industries, semiconductors in particular. It’s with this in mind that the Vietnam Briefing looks at how Vietnam plans to develop its workforce.


The manufacture of semiconductors, which have become integral to so many electronic products, has been framed locally as the key to elevating Vietnam’s position in the global value chain. In this light, the government has been pushing for more semiconductor makers to establish themselves in Vietnam with the Prime Minister even making overtures to that effect to the President of the United States when he was in Hanoi in September. But whereas many semiconductor firms are looking at Vietnam as a possible link in their supply chains, there are some barriers that come up again and again—chief among them is the lack of skilled labor. It’s estimated that Vietnam had just 5,500 chip design engineers whereas the industry needed an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 over the last year, . It’s in this context that Vietnam has set out an ambitious plan to transform its workforce. Approved earlier this year by Vietnam’s Prime Minister, the National Strategy on Attracting and Applying Talent to 2030, with a Vision to 2050, outlined in , offers a blueprint for bringing in, as well as developing, the talent Vietnam needs. Understanding this plan may help firms get a better understanding of what to expect over the next decade in terms of skilled labor in Vietnam. Furthermore, this may bring opportunities in the higher education and vocational training sectors.


See also: Vietnam’s Semiconductor Industry: Samsung Makes Further Inroads

Targets and objectives

Broadly, Vietnam’s goal is to find a way to attract and retain both foreign and local talent. In particular, it wants to develop its skilled workforce in the areas of science and technology, education and training, culture, social science, medicine, and information and communication. Specifically, this broad objective will encompass a number of specific targets. These include: By June 2024:
  • Both central and local authorities will have developed plans to attract and retain talent in line with the national strategy. This will include the practical requirements laid out clearly and focused on key industries and fields.
By 2025:
  • Have a policy framework aimed at attracting and retaining talent in leadership and management in the key areas listed above;
  • About 10 percent of new employees at state agencies and organizations will be considered talented (note that the Decision does not provide a definition of ‘talented’); and
  • 30 percent of talented employees will receive refresher training in science and technology.
By 2030:
  • At least 20 percent of government employees will be considered talented;
  • Talented recruits at government agencies will remain with the agency for at least five years; and
  • 60 percent of ‘talented’ employees will receive refresher training in science and technology.
Furthermore, 2031 will mark the beginning of a series of incremental increases in rank in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI). Vietnam will also be ranked highly among high-middle-income countries in terms of talent attraction and retention indicators. By 2050:
  • All talented employees will receive refresher training in science and technology.

Foreign support

In order to achieve these goals, the strategy details a number of broad tasks for several government departments. These are mostly administrative and lack details, which should come with subsequent circulars, decrees, and decisions from the various departments involved. That said, it does carve out a place for foreign support in attracting and retaining skilled workers.

Educational institutions

Whereas the strategy puts a strong emphasis on developing local talent, it also recognizes foreign educational institutions as a possible key stakeholder. It specifically encourages the participation of foreign educational institutions in providing training to international standards.

Expertise

The strategy also directs the Vietnam Fatherland Front to bring together and mobilize local and international talent. It suggests engaging these sources in discussion and dialogue, collecting their ideas and inputs, and then relaying these to key decision-makers in government.

Experts

The strategy also discusses attracting talented workers from overseas. It suggests using advertising to attract foreign workers to take up roles in Vietnam. More specifically, it details targeting overseas Vietnamese using patriotism and a sense of national pride. It’s envisioned that using these tools will encourage overseas Vietnamese to return to Vietnam to work.

Funding

Private capital, the state budget, and donations are suggested as sources of funding for this project. It does, however, also specifically name foreign social resources as one other possible funding avenue.

What’s next?

This law is still relatively new and key details should be forthcoming soon. One reading of the strategy—in its current state—suggests that conditions for foreign workers may improve in Vietnam as this strategy gets implemented. It could also suggest that foreign higher-education institutions and vocational training providers may soon see the opportunity to provide services to the Government of Vietnam.

With this in mind, foreign firms that wish to keep abreast of this strategy as it takes shape should subscribe to the Vietnam Briefing. They can also receive more detailed information about Vietnam’s labor market by contacting the human resources experts at .

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