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Oct 31, 2018 / 16:30

Industrial Revolution 4.0 poses big challenge to Vietnam’s labor market

The Industrial Revolution 4.0 is bringing both opportunities and challenges to Vietnam.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is posing a big challenge to Vietnam’s labor market, said experts at the scientific forum titled "Employment, wages and labor productivity in Vietnam in the Industrial Revolution 4.0" held in Hanoi on October 31.
Prof. Vu Quang Tho is speaking at the forum. Photo: Nguyen Ngan
Prof. Vu Quang Tho is speaking at the forum. Photo: Nguyen Ngan
According to the experts, besides the positive effects, the Industrial Revolution 4.0 is posing challenges for Vietnamese workers. It is unemployment and inequality that increase the income gap, that in turn causes the gap between the rich and the poor to widen if Vietnam cannot take advantage of the opportunities that this revolution brings.

Besides opportunities, the Industrial Revolution 4.0 is bringing challenges to Vietnam, experts said, adding that this revolution could be a risk of greater injustice, especially the risk of breaking the normal process of labor market.

Experts warned that when automation replaces humans in a wide range of jobs, workers will be made redundant, which could exacerbate the gap between profit and capital, as well as the gap between profit and labor force. Technological and knowledge gap is also widener, leading to a deeper social differentiation.

Prof. Vu Quang Tho, from the Institute of Workers and Labor Union under the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor, noted that the Industrial Revolution 4.0 can create the risk of losing a lot of laborers but can also bring new jobs and opportunities.

According to a report by the World Economic Forum, 64% of children currently enrolled in schools will do types of jobs that have never appear when they graduate from the schools. This means that the labor market will change, supply and demand will also change, Tho cited.

He added that Vietnam’s labor supply is mainly young workers with low level and cheap labor cost. Currently, only 20% of Vietnamese workers have been basically trained.

Dr. Nguyen Van Thuat, from National Center for Socio-economic Information and Forecast under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, highlighted that Vietnam is a country with deep international integration and highly open economy, but with low labor quality. Nearly 77% of Vietnam’s labor force do not have technical qualifications.

Thuat said that this is a big knot in Vietnam’s socio-economic development axis and it is not easy to open in a short time, because its simple labor force is still overcrowded.

In order to solve the shortcomings of Vietnam’s labor market in the Industrial Revolution 4.0, Vu Quang Tho said that Vietnam's labor market should continue to develop in the direction of modernization with the system.

Vietnam’s legal framework, institution, labor market policy must be gradually improved to raise the quality of labor supply and immediately overcome the serious shortage of qualified laborers and laborers in a number of new industries, Tho stressed.