Aquatic firms in Ho Chi Minh City and Mekong Delta provinces have been hampered by a labour shortage for processing and exporting works. The situation has declined since the beginning of this year, posing a challenge for the sector to fulfil its export target of 10 billion USD this year.

This firm needs nearly 600 labourers each year to produce 7,000 tonnes of aquatic products for exports. However, the actual number of workers only meets 75 percent of the demand despite their efforts in labour attraction and retention.

Labour shortages are a common problem among aquatic firms in the Mekong Delta region, which is home to 50 percent of aquatic production nationwide. According to the firms, the lack of skilled manual workers is their main obstacle due to a high turnover rate.

While the labour demand for the aquatic sector increases by 10-40 percent each year, the supply has yet to catch up, partly due to a lack of career orientation in vocational schools. Recognising the problem, many firms have been proactive in working with vocational schools to recruit graduates.

Aquatic products are among Vietnam’s major exports, which win favour from consumers worldwide. However, unless the Vietnamese aquaculture sector can addresses the labour problem, we may lose our competitive edge. –VNA