Vietnam maritime industry hit by dearth of shipping personnel
VIETNAM's maritime industry is suffering from a shortage of human resources and the nation's universities need to train nearly 15,000 navigating officers and other shipping personnel by 2020
VIETNAM's maritime industry is suffering from a shortage of human resources and the nation's universities need to train nearly 15,000 navigating officers and other shipping personnel by 2020.
Speaking at a recent conference on human resources, Dr Nguyen Duc Ca of the Viet Nam National Institute of Educational Sciences, said that there was also a need to train an additional 6,000 captains and first officers.
Marine engineers would also be needed to ensure development of the country's maritime economy, Dr Ca added.
He said nearly 90 per cent of graduates from such courses do not work in the shipping industry.
Statistics from the Viet Nam Maritime Administration show that the number of naval personnel had fallen from more than 45,000 in 2014 to 39,000 last May, with the sailor numbers falling especially sharply, the Viet Nam News reported.
According to Vu Khac Cuong of the administration, many of the seamen have moved to shore-based jobs. Besides, high school students do not want to apply for shipping-related university courses, he added.
Salaries for sailors in Vietnam are at around VND10 million (US$430) a month, much lower that the pay in China where the average salary is VND14-15 million while in Japan and South Korea it is VND30-34 million.
Le Viet Trung of Bien Dong Shipping Company said the Government should fix the minimum wage for sailors and others in entry-level jobs at US$600-650 per month. This would attract people and persuade students to apply for maritime courses, he said.
Vietnamese sailors working on foreign ships do not have to pay income tax, while those working on local vessels have to, and this should be changed, he said.
Bui Viet Hoai, deputy general director of the Viet Nam National Shipping Lines, said universities should tie up with large shipping companies to enable their students to undergo internships.