Job opportunities in the digital era

June 9, 2017 | 09:23 am GMT+7

While many experts warn that robots, Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intellectual (AI) will deprive workers of their jobs, research say advanced technologies will create new job opportunities.


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Ha Vu Son, 33, said he once worked as a car driver for a state-owned construction company. It was an easy job and the income was VND6 million, not enough to cover the expenses of a 4-member family.

Son is now working as a Grab taxi driver, making about VND20 million a month.

An analyst, describing Son’s story, said simple manual work will not be found in the 4.0 industrial revolution period. Canon, a foreign investor present in Vietnam for many years, has upgraded its machines and technologies to reduce the labor force. 

After eight years of reform, the number of workers at Canon has decreased from 13,000 to 8,000. 5,000 unskilled workers have been replaced by machines.

According to Phu Huynh, a labor expert from the International Labor Organization (ILO), about 70 percent of job positions in Vietnam are likely to be replaced by automation. 

According to ILO, female workers and unskilled workers will suffer the most from automation. It is estimated that 86 percent of workers in the textiles and garments and footwear industry will be influenced by advanced automation.

While the digital era will eliminate low-skilled jobs, it will create new job opportunities, according to David Lamotte, deputy director of ILO Asia Pacific.

Nguyen Van Thu, Chairman of the Vietnam Association of Mechanical Industry (VAMI), said on Thoi  Bao Kinh Te Viet Nam that the preparation for the 4.0 revolution should start with small and simple steps but needs to be implemented immediately, and most important is investing in human resources. 

Great opportunities 

According to Phu Huynh, technology initiatives can create new jobs that don't exist now. As for current jobs, the demand for customer-oriented jobs and jobs in engineering, transport and infrastructure will be increasing.

Le Thi Kim from ManpowerGroup Vietnam, said the future of jobs is not a tradeoff between human and machine. The development of high technology will be an opportunity for the government to create many jobs.

"Technology is enabling the emergence of new models that can help solve problems in today's labor market, such as the birth of the gig economy with thousands of short-term jobs generated together with technology startups such as Uber, AirBnB and Grab,” she said.