Though bringing in billions of USD in revenue, the Vietnamese semiconductor industry is still facing a host of challenges, especially the shortage of a skilled workforce.
The Vietnamese workforce in the sector is still in the "red alert" category, despite significant progress in investment attraction and technological transfer. Hired workers still need to complete 6-12 months of advanced training to meet job requirements.
According to the HCM City Semiconductor Industry Association (HSIA), 95% of the direct investment in the semiconductor technology in Vietnam come from foreign sources. There are only about 50 semiconductor manufacturers nationwide.
Vietnam currently has more than 5,500 chip design engineers, with the majority in Ho Chi Minh City, accounting for over 76% of the total. The industry requires 5,000-10,000 engineers per year, but the ability to meet this requirement is limited to about 20%.
HSIA Nguyen Anh Tuan said in the semiconductor production process, Vietnam primarily focuses on chip design, accounting for some 52%.
The other stages such as production, packaging and testing only make up 48%, but they are still in the early stages of development. This means that out of the 5,500 semiconductor workers in Vietnam, the majority are primarily focusing on design while there is a significant shortage of workforce for the other stages.
Tuan said the HSIA also held working sessions with the University of Natural Sciences under the Vietnam National University - Ho Chi Minh City) to address the issue.
Industry insiders said close collaboration among the State, educational institutions, and businesses is essential to this effort, adding that the State should issue specific policies and regulations to encourage firms to invest in semiconductor research and development. Additionally, there should be policies to assist universities in investing in physical infrastructure, human resources, and expert teams for education and research in this field.
The Ministry of Education and Training was advised to promptly review and add curricula related to the semiconductor field, as well as connect foreign experts and international universities with domestic educational institutions to facilitate the training of a qualified workforce for the industry.