The wave of people leaving big cities in Vietnam’s southern region to go home and social distancing have made businesses in Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong, Dong Nai… face labor shortage.
Talking to Zing, Mr. Cu Phat Nghiep, chairman of the Vietnam Pouyuen Trade Union (Binh Tan district) said that the company has started transporting workers from the provinces to Ho Chi Minh City to work from October 6. Currently, the business operates with about 20-30% of the workforce, which means more than 40,000 Pouyuen workers are still out of work.
“This period, many workers return to their hometown, it is expected that in mid-November, if they can operate at 100% capacity, they will have to recruit a large number of workers. We still don’t know how to attract workers to work at that time,” Mr. Nghiep explained.
Each province needs tens of thousands of new workers
According to Mr. Cu Phat Nghiep, the workers who have quit their jobs in the past time do not know how long they have to wait before they can return to work, so they have returned home a lot, partly to save costs, partly because of fear of infection in a foreign land, partly because it is almost near the year-end holiday, workers want to be near their families.
Although enterprises were able to transport workers from Long An, Tien Giang, Ben Tre, Tay Ninh to work as before, this number is only about 15,000 people. Mr. Nghiep said that Pouyuen Vietnam has up to 41,000 ex-provincial workers who previously stayed in Ho Chi Minh City. To recruit new employees or attract these workers back to work when the company restores production is a difficult problem.
According to a survey by the Center for Forecasting Human Resource Demand in HCM City, the labor demand of enterprises in HCM City in the third quarter was 43,600-56,800 people. This number in the coming time in Binh Duong will be about 40,000-50,000 people, according to a forecast of the Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs of Binh Duong province.
The Dong Nai Employment Service Center said that in the morning of October 3, 28 businesses joined the online trading floor with a total recruitment demand of nearly 4,700 workers. The demand for unskilled labor is more than 4,500 people.
Sharing with Zing, Mr. Pham Van Viet – chairman of the Board of Directors of Viet Thang Jeans Company cum vice chairman of Ho Chi Minh City Textile, Embroidery and Knitting Association (Agtek) – acknowledged that the main cause of labor shortage is the confusion of local authorities.
Both the government and businesses are confused, as a result, workers have difficulties, bewildered, and have to return to their hometown
Mr. Pham Van Viet – chairman of the Board of Directors Viet Thang Jeans cum vice chairman of Agtek
“Last time, we did not have a clear epidemic prevention strategy, so businesses did not know the schedule of opening and closing. Social security packages have not been paid enough attention, from the text to the reality, there was a unforeseeable delay,” Mr. Viet said.
Notably, labor demand does not appear only in the unskilled labor segment. Because skilled and highly specialized workers have also suffered waves of staff reductions or psychological effects due to the pandemic.
When Covid-19 returned for the 4th time, Minh Yen (23 years old, from Gia Lai) was determined to give up a high-paying job at a multinational company in HCM City to return to her hometown. The pandemic made this female office worker feel suffocated and wished to have the opportunity to “take a break” to rethink the direction for the future.
Besides, a number of businesses in industries with potential for development after Covid-19 are also in high demand for recruitment. Operating in the field of biotechnology, from the beginning of the year until now, LiveSpo Global has continuously welcomed hundreds of new employees corresponding to 37 titles, from senior strategy director to production and development positions. Business development at home and abroad.
“Sales & Marketing department has high and continuous recruitment demand, especially the team of pharmacists to supplement the whole country, especially in 2 big cities, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City“, Ms. Dinh Phuong Ly, Director of Human Resources and Organizational Development of the company said.
To meet the labor demand, LiveSpo Global is flexibly combining new recruitment and internal resource development. At the same time, the enterprise also has a policy to re-engage a number of former employees.
Efforts to welcome workers back
According to Mr. Nguyen Chanh Phuong, vice president and general secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Handicraft and Woodworking Association (HAWA), labor shortage is only a short-term problem. This situation mainly occurs in enterprises that could not maintain “3 in place” in the recent period. The units that still operate and have orders can still retain workers, although not to the extent of 80-90% of the workforce.
“However, this is just my opinion and observation at some factories, it is necessary to have an overall picture to accurately assess the problem. Therefore, HAWA is surveying member businesses, and by the end of the month. There will be a big workshop on restoring wood industry production, which focuses on labor issues, “said Mr. Phuong.
Similarly, Mr. Pham Van Viet also said that the shortage of labor will gradually be solved because the Vietnamese government has identified businesses as the subject, and workers as the center in epidemic prevention.
With the textile and garment industry in HCM City, to meet the set of safety criteria, businesses are cutting capacity and only need half of the workforce compared to before. Therefore, the shortage is not too heavy, only about 20% of unskilled workers. “If it can be added from now until the end of October, the situation will stabilize again,” he assessed.
He said that the effective implementation of welfare packages and opening “borders” of provinces and cities will create conditions for workers to return.
Representatives of business associations said that labor shortages only happen in the short term
While waiting for the authorities to remove these bottlenecks, businesses must also come up with solutions to keep existing workers, and at the same time attract old and new workers.
Pouyuen Vietnam said that it will still pay wages to workers who cannot work from June. Until September, the level of 50% of the minimum wage and social insurance will continue to be maintained. Currently, businesses are trying to “cover” the vaccine for all workers so that they can go back to work.
In Mr. Pham Van Viet’s point of view, workers returning to the city will face the biggest problem of accommodation, so businesses should try to arrange accommodation, can continue to do “3 on the spot.” Local authorities can support businesses to borrow apartments, schools, dormitories… that are vacant as temporary residences for workers.
Meanwhile, for Mr. Nguyen Chanh Phuong, psychological issues are very important, especially for those who have been and are currently F0. At his business, Mr. Phuong said he always tries to keep in touch with these employees, and at the same time regularly takes care of their mental health and supports them with necessities.
At the press conference on the afternoon of October 7, Mr. Pham Duc Hai – deputy head of Ho Chi Minh City’s Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control – said that from October 1 to October 6, 9,200 businesses registered to operate again.
“However, currently the number of workers in export processing zones and industrial parks is only 56.8%, and high-tech zones reach 54.6%. That is a big problem for the city when many workers return to their hometowns,” said Mr. Hai.