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Better training needed to address tourism manpower shortages

Update: 17/02/2023
The tourism sector is facing a serious staff shortage after the COVID-19 pandemic, so improving training quality to meet recovery and development demand is now an urgent need.

Better training needed to address tourism manpower shortages

Visitors in a boat tour of the Trang An Landscape Complex in Ninh Binh province (Photo: VNA)

In 2019, before the pandemic broke out, Vietnam had more than 2.5 million workers in the industry, including 750,000 working directly.

Hard hit by the pandemic, international tourism came to a halt while the domestic market was also affected in 2020, forcing travel companies to cut down 70 - 80% of their staff.

In 2021, the number of those working full time accounted for just 25% of the 2020 figure, workers quitting their jobs or having labour contracts terminated early about 30%, and those suffering temporary furloughs 35%.

Therefore, since the industry was fully opened on March 15 last year, tourism businesses have encountered staff shortages.

Dau tu (Vietnam Investment Review) cited Cao Thi Ngoc Lan, Standing Vice Chairwoman of the Vietnam Tourism Association, as saying that the country is facing a heavy labour shortage, especially during major holidays.

She also pointed out a serious deficiency of highly skilled personnel, particularly for high-level management positions. Besides, the manpower imbalance among regions is also a problem, leading to low service quality in some areas with strong growth in the tourist number.

This industry needs about 485,000 workers for accommodation facilities at present. Meanwhile, Vietnam is expected to record positive tourism growth during 2022 - 2030 when it will need to add about 60,000 labourers to the sector annually, Lan added.

The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism said vocational schools and tourism colleges are able to supply just 15,000 workers for the sector each year, and that manpower training hasn't meet demand in reality.

Nguyen Tien Dat, co-founder of the Prato tourism training centre, held that the existing manpower is still weak at vocational, foreign language, and communication skills, so it is necessary to strongly engage state agencies, schools, and businesses in promoting manpower quality.

Assoc. Prof. and Dr Pham Hong Long, Dean of the tourism faculty at the Hanoi-based University of Social Sciences and Humanities, suggested tourism training courses be internationalised, which will be a trend that many domestic training establishments will follow in the time ahead.

Source: VNA
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