Enterprise development

ILO expands support to the wood-processing industry to northern Viet Nam

The industry is growing quickly in the North with a lot of demand from factories for assistance to become more competitive.

News | 25 April 2019
HANOI (ILO News) – Thirty entrepreneurs from wood processing companies in the north on 23 April received training on good management practices in a workshop organized in Hanoi by the ILO and the Handicraft and Wood Processing Association of HCM City.

The activity is part of the ILO’s Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises (SCORE) programme. Funded by Norway and Switzerland, SCORE enables small and medium-sized enterprises to improve their productivity and working conditions through practical training and in-factory counselling.

At the training workshop, titled “Good Management Practices for Wood Working Enterprises,” SCORE Training experts shared good management practices applied by factories in the South and advised smaller companies on how to implement those practices.

The experts also visited several furniture factories in Hanoi and Hai Duong Province to advise them on how to improve labour productivity and increase efficiency and work safety.

The ILO’s SCORE Programme has supported 200 enterprises in HCM City, Binh Duong and Dong Nai provinces over the past 7 years with training and consulting sessions on productivity and working conditions.

Enterprises have reported productivity improvements of up to 50 per cent in their production lines, cost savings of up to US$70,000 and reductions in accidents and near-misses as a result of SCORE Training.

Due to high growth of the sector, and responding to demands from entrepreneurs, the programme decided to expand activities to northern provinces and the training in Hanoi was the first step.

“This industry is growing quickly in the North, and there is a lot of demand from entrepreneurs for assistance to become more competitive,” says Stephan Ulrich, ILO’s Programme Manager in Hanoi. “It makes a lot of sense to expand our activities to northern provinces.”

In Viet Nam, the woodwork sector employs about 500,000 workers, of which about 40-45 percent are seasonal unskilled workers. But according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the number of workers could be in the range of millions if considering those working in forest plantations.

Woodwork and forestry is Viet Nam’s sixth biggest exporting sector, averaging growth of about 13 per cent annually in the 2010-17 period. In 2017, the sector exported about 8$ billion worth in value. Its five most important markets are the US, China, Japan, the EU and South Korea.