Electronics sector looks for brighter future by addressing skills gaps, bettering working conditions

Promoting social dialogue and workplace compliance is key to sustain the growth of Viet Nam’s key industry.

Press release | Hanoi, Viet Nam | 15 July 2022
HANOI (ILO News) -- As Viet Nam is building forward better after the COVID-19, the country has a unique opportunity to create more and better jobs, better places to work and to increase productivity and skills in its electronics supply chain.

To seek suitable solutions for the sustainable development of this key industry, the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) organized the sector forum on “Decent work and the future of Viet Nam’s Electronics Supply Chains” in Hanoi on 15 July 2022. The event brought together Government agencies and partners of the industry.

Viet Nam has recorded continuous year-on-year increase in electronics export values, which now account for one third of the total national export values. As one of the biggest electronics exporters in the world, Viet Nam’s export values in 2021 climbed up to more than US$108 billion. The electronics sector employs more than 1 million workers.

However, the industry mainly focuses on low-value-added and labour-intensive outsourcing and assembly activities.

“Among the biggest challenges faced by enterprises are major upheavals in human resources, including labour shortage. How to attract workers to return to work, how to create decent work for them is now a difficult question,” VCCI Vice Chairman, Hoang Quang Phong, said, addressing the forum.

Preliminary results of the latest enterprise survey conducted by VCCI with ILO support shows that around 60 per cent of respondents found a shortage of skilled workers as a moderate to severe challenge in the electronics sector. Half of the enterprises also named technical skills of supervisors and managers as another major issue.

In that context, ensuring resilient, inclusive and sustainable enterprises in the manufacturing sectors, including the electronics industry, is a top priority to maintain growth and remain competitive in the global market.

“This includes attention to decent work to be able to sustain the industry’s competitiveness in the global market and contribute to the country’s socio-economic development,” said ILO Viet Nam Director, Ingrid Christensen.

This is in line with the ILO Global Call to Action for a Human-centred Recovery, which focuses on four interrelated pillars – inclusive growth and employment, protection of workers, universal social protection and social dialogue.

The country may sustain the growth of the industry with proper investment in decent work conditions including the facilitation of social dialogue and participation in programmes promoting workplace compliance."

Ingrid Christensen, ILO Viet Nam Director
“The country may sustain the growth of the industry with proper investment in decent work conditions including the facilitation of social dialogue and participation in programmes promoting workplace compliance,” the head of ILO Viet Nam added.

Electronics businesses have developed a channel of mutual support to effectively practise social dialogue at all levels to increase productivity and create better working conditions. This good practice is expected to spread to other key export sectors of the country.

“Social dialogue will play a key role for ensuring sustainable supply chains,” said the Ambassador of the European Union to Viet Nam, Giorgio Aliberti.

“Promoting decent work is key to reach an inclusive, sustainable and resilient electronics industry in Viet Nam,” he noted while emphasizing that requirements of investors, consumers and legislators around the world to promote decent work in global supply chains are on the rise.

Through several projects funded by the European Union and other donors, the ILO, in close collaboration with VCCI, currently supports partners to address decent work deficits and build forward better the global supply chains in the industry.