The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), slated for formation late this year, will not only facilitate free flow of goods, services, investment and skilled workers within the bloc, but also pose challenges to Vietnamese laborers, Vietnam News Agency reported Tuesday.
Once the AEC is formed, access to jobs within the region will be given first to doctors, dentists, nurses, engineers, architects, accountants, surveyors and tourism professionals.
Data shows that Vietnam had 69.3 million people at the age of 15 and above in 2014, but only 19% of the 53.7 million people of working age received full training.
Bui Dinh Thieu, director of a Vietnamese software company, said the free labor migration will have the most impact on highly skilled workers with fluency in foreign languages, especially English. If companies grab this opportunity, they can recruit quality personnel and avoid brain drain, he said, adding that skillful laborers can work in Vietnam, Singapore or any other country in the ASEAN.
The AEC also threatens to increase Vietnam's unemployment rate, warned Cao Quang Dai from the Directorate of Vocational Training under the Vietnamese Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs. According to him, almost all Vietnamese workers lack soft skills such as team working, communications and foreign language ability.
Meanwhile, a majority of local enterprises are of small and medium size and lack experience, making it more difficult for them to attract and keep skilled staff members.
Dai also pointed out the lack of interest or adequate knowledge about the AEC, even among people holding important positions at state agencies, while regional workers are willing to make changes to dominate Vietnam's labor market.
Nguyen Luong Trao, Chairman of the Vietnam Association of Manpower Supply, said if thorough preparations are not in place for the upcoming intensive integration, domestic firms will lose out to foreign ones and laborers will lose their jobs.