Lack of high-quality human resources to "attract" investors and produce semiconductor chips

VCN - The shortage of high-quality human resources, especially in high-tech fields, is currently a major bottleneck in attracting large technology corporations to shift investment locations in research, development and production to Vietnam.
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Production activities at Dien Quang High-tech Factory. Photo: Mai Huong
Production activities at Dien Quang High-tech Factory. Photo: Mai Huong

Great demand

Determining that building high-quality human resources is an important task in the coming time, speaking at the opening session of the 6th session of the 15th National Assembly, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh presented a Report evaluating actual results of Socio-Economic Development Plan for 2023, expected Socio-Economic Development Plan for 2024 and clearly stated 12 main groups of tasks and solutions in 2024 and the coming time. It also clearly stated the main tasks and solutions for other fields, such as focusing on training high-quality human resources for emerging industries and fields, focusing on training 50-100 thousand of high quality labours for the semiconductor chip manufacturing industry in the period from 2025 to 2030.

In the context of strong development of science and technology, especially in the field of electronics - semiconductors - microchips, serving electronic machinery and digital transformation, the trend of shifting supply chains is taking place in the world and in the region. Technology corporations in the world are tending to find more suitable locations to set up production and research facilities.

Notably, after the US President's visit to Vietnam in September 2023, the two countries upgraded their relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership. One of the cooperation contents agreed to be promoted was digital cooperation, science, technology, innovation and strengthening cooperation in education and training. Currently, the US has over 50 large FDI enterprises investing in Vietnam in the microelectronics and semiconductor industry, of which the field of IC design requires the most high-quality human resources. It is expected that more large corporations will invest in Vietnam, mainly requiring human resources for IC design. The total demand for human resources in this field, according to forecasts by some economic experts, will be about 20,000 people in the next 5 years and about 50,000 people with university degrees or higher in the next 10 years.

sGreat opportunities are opening up for Vietnam, however, according to Deputy Minister of Education and Training Hoang Minh Son, the lack of high-quality human resources, especially in high-tech fields, was a major bottleneck in attracting large technology corporations to shift their research, development and production investment locations to Vietnam. The main reason was objective rules in the supply-demand relationship between the education and training system and the labour market.

In fact, in recent years, Vietnam has had policies and communications to encourage university education institutions to expand and develop STEM training majors, focusing on industries in the information technology and communication field (ICT), industries serving human resources for the 4.0 Industrial Revolution such as AI, Bigdata… During the period 2019-2022, the number of new STEM university student increased by an average of 10% per year, higher than the general growth rate of 6.5%. The three fields with the strongest average annual growth are computer and information technology (17.1%), and engineering technology (10.6%). But because the labour market in the field of semiconductors and microchips is just beginning to form, mainly in potential form, the biggest challenge is how to attract students to study these majors and improve the training quality meeting the strict requirements of American enterprises. This requires synchronous support policies and guidance from the State.

Agreeing with the above opinion, Mr. Nguyen Phuc Vinh, Technical Director of Synopsys Vietnam, said that the demand for recruiting high-quality human resources in the semiconductor chip industry was very large but still not enough to meet it. In Ho Chi Minh City, third-year students could go to work, mostly focusing on physical design, design testing and some other fields. Basically, after studying the above subjects, students could clearly understand the operating principles and design principles of microchips, meeting the recruitment demand of enterprises. However, the school still lacked human resources and specialized training programs, and the facilities had not kept up with the development of technology.

Ready to catch the trend

Not only the US, Vietnam is becoming an attractive destination for investors from many other countries and territories. Projects launched 2-3 years ago have now provided the first shipments to the world market. For example, on October 11, 2023, Amkor Group (Korea) inaugurated Amkor Technology Vietnam Factory in Yen Phong II-C Industrial Park, Bac Ninh province with a total investment capital until 2035 reaching 1.6 billion USD. This is one of the most advanced factories of Amkor Group in operation, starting a new trend of attracting investment in Bac Ninh province in the field of high technology and creating favourable conditions for the formation and development of Bac Ninh province in semiconductor de in Vietnam.

To keep up with the changes in the world as well as attract high-quality capital into the field of microchips and semiconductors, many Vietnamese enterprises have been constantly changing their thinking, solutions, machinery, and human resources towards the common goal of the semiconductor IC industry. A typical example is Dien Quang Group Joint Stock Company. For a long time, this company has been preparing to stay ahead of the trend in the semiconductor chip technology industry. Accordingly, Dien Quang has prepared a human resources team with R&D (research and development) engineers and a quality design team to research and develop products and equipment directly related to the semiconductor microchip industry, high technology. In addition, Dien Quang has invested in modern machinery, equipment and production lines, production capable of highly difficult electronic products. As long as any major partner places an order, Dien Quang is ready to process circuit boards and products according to international quality standards.

Mr. Nguyen Hoang, Chairman of the Hanoi Supporting Industry Business Association (HANSIBA), said that recently, Vietnam had been attracting investment capital from enterprises around the world in general, as well as Korea. especially in the field of semiconductor chips. Vietnam's advantage was good infrastructure and ecosystem, meeting the conditions for production in the field of semiconductor chips. Not only that, Vietnam also had a young, qualified workforce ready to participate in the global semiconductor chip production and supply chain. Besides, Vietnamese enterprises also had support from the State's incentive and support policies. These were necessary and sufficient conditions to be able to cooperate with international partners, including Korea in this field, President HANSIBA believed.

By Xuan Thao/ Binh Minh

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