Enterprises prepare for workforce shortage after Tet

Every year after the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday, many businesses face a serious shortage of workers. Last year, due to the impact of social distancing orders, enterprises struggled with a shortage of labor. Therefore, the need to prepare the workforce for the post-Tet period is even more urgent.
Enterprises prepare for workforce shortage after Tet ảnh 1 A worker operating a machine at a plant of Dai Dung Metallic Manufacture Construction & Trade Corporation in An Ha Industrial Zone, Binh Chanh District, Ho Chi Minh City. (Photo: SGGP)

To prepare to return to production after the week-long holiday, representatives of many businesses said that they had focused on attracting and recruiting workers a month in advance. 

Companies had participated in many different recruitment channels such as job sessions, forums and social networks. They even encouraged workers to introduce acquaintances but so far companies have not yet recruited enough people.

Nguyen Thi Thuy Van, Chairwoman of the Union of Long Rich Co., said that the company had lost about 500 workers during the pandemic, so it is necessary to retain current employees to return to work after Tet. 

"Every year, there is a small number of workers who go home for Tet holiday and do not return to work, and the company can still manage to recruit new workers. But this year the situation is very unpredictable,” Van told VNeconomy. “Many workers who returned to their hometown due to the spread of Covid-19 have not come back yet.”

Nguyen Dang Hien, general director of Bidrico Company, also said that ensuring the workforce after Tet was now a challenge for many businesses.

Every year workers don’t return to work at the same time, but this year it is expected that more workers will stay at home longer than previous years because their family members test positive with coronavirus or are afraid of getting the virus if using public transport. 

According to Hien, to retain employees, the company continues to ensure salaries, bonuses and seniority allowances for employees. It also allows workers to receive an advance payment of VND5 - VND10 million VND (US$220 – US$441) to prepare for Tet. 

"If enterprises take good care of workers and have adequate remuneration, workers will stay with the enterprises, and return to work soon,” said Hien.

Regularly the southern factories under the Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex) are short of about 10 percent of workers, equivalent to 6,000 people after the Tet holiday. Therefore, they have created many plans to retain workers. 

Nguyen Thi Thuy, vice chairwoman of the Union of Vinatex, said that during this period, commitments to ensuring jobs and income were the most effective way to retain workers.

The Union of Industrial Parks and Export Processing Zones in HCMC said that due to the varying quarantine rules among localities, this year many businesses allowed workers in remote provinces to return home 1-2 weeks earlier. 

To retain workers, many businesses also organize shuttle buses and reward employees who return to work on time. 

Many businesses have increased bonuses to keep workers in the city, helping factories complete orders on schedule.

It is estimated that about 98,000 workers will be staying in industrial parks and export processing zones during this year’s Tet holiday. 

However, the survey showed that after Tet, businesses still need to recruit about 10 per cent more workers to expand their production scale. 

Coordinating after Tet

The People's Committee of HCMC had sent guidelines to organizations to support workers, especially those who don’t return home.

The city is also preparing plans to coordinate human resources after Tet. 

Nguyen Van Lam, vice president of the HCMC Department of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs, said that after the Tet holiday, the city was expected to need about 45,000 skilled workers, especially in trading, leather and footwear, and mechanical engineering.

To provide enough resources for businesses in the area, the HCMC Department of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs had directed employment service centers to organize meetings and introduce workers from other provinces and cities to HCMC to work after Tet.