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City firms fail to meet export orders due to labour shortage   2010-09-09 - Viet Nam News

Enterprises in HCM City’s export processing and industrial zones are struggling to complete increasing orders because they are short of workers.

Workers of Seshin Viet Nam Joint Stock Co make garments for export. About 300 enterprises in the textile, footwear and electronics industries in HCM City are facing severe labour shortages. (Photo: VNS)

Textile, footwear, electronic assembly and seafood processing establishments typically receive more orders towards the end of the year.

Nguyen Thanh Tung, director of the Job Opportunity Centre under the HCM City Export Processing Zones Authority (HEPZA), said enterprises needed 49,000 workers from now until the end of the year, but the centre can only meet 70 per cent of this demand.

Around 300 enterprises in textile, footwear and electronic assembly are facing severe labour shortages. The Tan Thuan export processing zone alone needs 10,000 workers badly.

Besides non-skilled labour, enterprises are also having difficulties in finding suitable candidates for middle management positions, from commercial to production ones.

"The middle management force accounts for 10 per cent of recruitment needs and despite the low level of scarcity, there is aggressive competition between enterprises," Tung said.

Tung said that to improve the situation that has been a constant headache for enterprises in recent years, Hepza will only accept new projects that deploy high technology, especially in mechanical, electrical and electronics.

Experts have said that enterprises need to effect changes in their salary policies, improve other working conditions and apply technological innovations.

The demand for labour is expected to rise with the city planning to build seven new IZs and expand existing IZs to cover an additional area of 3,000ha.

Furthermore, the city also faces stiff competition from neighbouring provinces which have also opened new IZs. HCM City now has three export processing zones and 10 industrial zones with 1,200 projects that employ 252,000 workers.

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