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Vietnam Logistics Human Resource Development Strategy to Adapt to Changes and Respond to Risks

 

An online international conference on “Strategic human resource development for Vietnam Logistics Industry - Adaptability in an ever-changing environment", was organised by Aus4Skills on 25 August, 2021, attracting a large number of national and international experts, logistics businesses, lecturers and students…

The conference was held by the Australia-Vietnam Human Resources Development Program (Aus4Skills), with support from the Australian Government through the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, in collaboration with the Vietnam Logistics Business Association (VLA) and Vietnam Logistics Research and Development Institute (VLI). The success of the conference demonstrates the power of cooperation between government, industry, and education organisations.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges and significantly negative impacts not only on Vietnam's economic development but also the world’s business environment. This resulted in the emergence of many new trends that change the way of thinking and the traditional way of doing business, raising big questions around the planning and development of human resources to meet the needs of the industry.

As a co-organiser, Vietnam Logistics Research and Development Institute (VLI) conducted an in-depth survey with logistics enterprises during July-August 2021 to assess the current situation of Vietnam’s logistics human resources, thereby recommending solutions to improve their capacity to adapt to changes and risks.

Mr Tran Thanh Hai
Mr. Tran Thanh Hai, Deputy Director of Import and Export Department, Ministry of Industry and Trade

Mr. Tran Thanh Hai, Deputy Director of Import and Export Department, Ministry of Industry and Trade, highly appreciated the cooperation between the Australian Embassy, Vietnam Logistics Business Association (VLA) and Vietnam Logistics Research and Development Institute (VLI) in organising this conference. According Mr. Hai, the conference posed an important issue and provided a platform for Vietnamese and international experts to discuss and suggest initiatives and new ways of thinking to build the capacity of Vietnam’s logistics workforce to adapt to changes and respond to risks in national and international environment, particularly in the context of complicated Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr. Tran Thanh Hai - Deputy Director of the Import-Export Department, Ministry of Industry and Trade, said that along with institutions, policies, infrastructure, business capacity and technology, human resources are fundamental to sustainable logistics services. In the context of on-going globalisation and the Industrial Revolution 4.0, the requirements for quality, expertise and skills of logistics human resources, especially in-depth knowledge of the industry, foreign language skills, information technology application, communication, marketing, negotiation, and execution skills, need to be enhanced. This will be a key and emergent factor to help Vietnam’s logistics enterprises quickly catch up with other countries, enhance their competitiveness, and expand their regional, national, and international markets.

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The Vietnamese Government has strong interest in logistics human development. Therefore, in Decision No. 200/QD-TTg dated February 14, 2017, the Prime Minister promulgated an Action Plan for the enhancement of competitiveness and the development of logistics services in Vietnam until 2025. It was supplemented by Decision No. 221/QD-TTg dated 22/02/2021 with separate section on training and improving the quality of logistics human resources.

Following Mr. Tran Thanh Hai, the conference’s participants gathered to discuss a number of issues about how the logistics industry could satisfy future demands for human resource, in terms of both quality and quantity, namely:

Firstly, promoting linkages and training cooperation between Vietnam and other countries; taking advantage of support provided by developed countries with advanced logistics training experience, to build capacity of Vietnamese government management staff and lecturers; strengthening high-quality training programs for students and trainees, and for leadership and senior management staff of enterprises.

Secondly, improving the quality of the existing training programs, ensuring their in-depth, scientific-based and systematic approach, as well as connectivity between training levels; Developing necessary skills to access and use new technologies, improving foreign language skills and the ability to apply international trade laws and practices to enable logistics employees to adapt better to real-life requirements, especially in an international work environment.

Thirdly, enhancing the collaboration between education institutions and employers, promote linkages between universities, vocational schools, and short-term training courses; Collaborating in the improvement of lecturer quality, facilities, training material, management experience, promoting scientific research, promoting transitional education programs and exchange of credits among education providers; Engaging employers more in the training process, internship programs to provide students with a better exposure to real-life experience.

Fourthly, maintaining and improving marketing activities, providing career counselling etc. to attract high-quality human resources to this area of expertise. This is not only the mission of management and training insitutions, but it also requires industry engagement in providing information and incentives such asscholarships, and other means of teaching and learning.

Fifthly, promoting and creating opportunities for training, nurturing and enhancing expertise and practical skills for the industry’s workforce.

Mr. Hai suggested that VLA and VALOMA promote their roles as "extended arms" of the business community, working closely with state management agencies and training institutions to gain accurate evaluation and identification of the status of Vietnam’s logistics workforce, as well as the industry demand for logistics human resources.

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Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ho Thi Thu Hoa, Director of the Vietnam Logistics Research and Development Institute (VLI-VLA)-International University, Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City, presented the current situation of Vietnam's logistics human resources, and suggested a research model to identify the necessary skill sets required by logistics industry. She recommended a number of solutions including: first, to complete the occupational skill standards based on feedback from industry and vocational schools; second, to improve logistics lecturer quality through international short training programs such as FIATA Diploma in International Freight Management, FIATA Higher Diploma in Supply Chain Management or AFFA training programs; third, to promote joint efforts from government, industry and education organisations; and fourth, to invest more in training on adapting to changes and responding to risks.

Industry representatives also made comments on the future needs for human resource recruitment. Mr. Vu Duc Thinh, General Director of Lazada Logistics Vietnam, shared his view on human resource future needs in E-Logistics as part of E-Commerce. Ms. Tang Thi Phuong Anh, Human Resources Director, Gemadept Joint Stock Company, shared her view on human resource needs in ports and logistics services. These provided a basis for assessment of the current human resources and future recruitment needs of logistics enterprises.

At the conference, the participants also discussed important topics, namely: Technology and digitalisation transformation in logistics; Logistics human resource risk management; Adaptation of training institutions in the context of a changing socio-economic environment.

At the conference, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by and between the VLI and AGKN on a knowledge network for research, consultancy, and training with a focus on transport and logistics between Asia and Germany.

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The conference concluded successfully, providing an orientation for logistics human resource development to adapt to fluctuations and risks. It also helped raise industry’s awareness about the need of having a human resource strategy in place to ensure sustainable development. Solutions to human resource training and development were also suggested to enhance Vietnam’s logistics industry’s competitiveness.

Source: Mai Anh - MOIT Portal

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