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Robots will replace three-quarters of workers of Vietnam: ILO study

According to a survey of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Vietnam on labour market trends, with the technology movement gaining ground in Vietnam, millions of workers in the textile sector are likely to get affected. This is one of the major downsides of the technological revolution that has, for many years, also greatly benefited people and economies.

To ensure jobs, not only the State and enterprises, but also the workers themselves have to improve their skills to adapt. This statement came from Dao Thi Thu Hien, chief of office of Canon Vietnam seven years ago. Canon Thang Long Plant in Dong Anh District employed 13,000 workers but the number had dropped to 8,000 with automation while turnover and production remain stable. According to Hien with robots and computing advancements replacing workers, especially those performing repetitive tasks, low-skilled workers have been the most harmed.

Deputy General Director of the Garment No.10 Corporation, Nguyen Thien Ly said that the trend of using technology to replace human labour was indispensable in order to reduce costs and compete. In recent years, the company had to invest in equipment to cut labour costs, she said. For example, an automatic cutting machine could replace 12-15 employees, said Lý. Over the past year, the garment industry faced difficulties due to the increase of labor costs in Vietnam while there were fewer preferential tax policies so application of new technologies replacing labour will partly help solve this difficulty.

According to a survey by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), some foreign-invested garment factories in Vietnam put advanced technology in use last year to replace 10 to 15 workers in each stage of production to meet the trend of integration. In the coming years, 86 per cent of Vietnamese workers are at high risk of losing their jobs to automation, according to the ILO’s study. Robots will replace three-quarters of the workers, the study said.