The tourism and hospitality industry will be one of the top 12 employers in Ho Chi Minh City by 2020, according to the Centre for Forecasting Manpower Needs and Labour Market Information.

Enterprises in the tourism and hospitality industry in the city will need 21,600 more employees each year, Tran Anh Tuan, the centre's standing deputy head, said at a workshop held on August 30 in the city by the municipal Department of Education and Training,

The city has 56 training schools including universities and vocational schools that train tour guides and personnel for hotels and restaurants, Tuan said, adding that however, the number of graduates from these institutions only meets 60 percent of demand.

According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, the industry needs nearly 40,000 new staff nationwide each year, but tourism and hospitality schools only turn out 15,000 per year.

Tran Van Hung, rector of the Saigontourist Hospitality College , said that his college has received many inquiries from tourist companies, hotels as well as restaurants. Of the college's 757 students who graduated this year, 717 have already found jobs, he said.

Nguyen Viet Anh, head of the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism's travel division, said that many tourism companies in the city need tour guides fluent in Russian, Korean, Japanese, French and Thai languages. They end up hiring foreigners for their tours, according to Anh.

Tourism and hospitality schools should pay attention to providing training in these languages in addition to English, he added.

Last year, the city had 818 travel companies, 1,724 hotels and inns with 41,449 employees, Anh said, adding that this indicates a staff shortage, especially at the managerial level.

Furthermore, nearly 45 percent of tour guides and 85 percent of receptionists at hotels and restaurants have weak foreign language and professional skills, Tuan said.

Pham Ngoc Thanh, deputy head of the City Department of Education and Training, said that establishing a council manned by rectors of tourism and hospitality teaching institutions in HCM City could improve the quality of human resources training.

The council can help schools connect with employers to ensure jobs for graduates in the sector, he said.-VNA