Shortage of IT personnel in Japan: Opportunities for Vietnam

August 8, 2018 | 02:13 pm GMT+7

A shortage of IT personnel has prompted Japan to adopt measures to attract foreign talents in the field, which opens up opportunities for Vietnamese IT engineers and firms.


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The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan estimated that the country will lack 369,000 IT engineers in 2020 and 789,000 by 2030. 
To fill in the gap, Japanese firms have stepped up efforts to hire foreign IT personnel in recent years. 
At the Vietnam IT Day in Japan in February this year, Chairman of FPT Software Hoang Nam Tien confidently declared that with a skilled workforce, Vietnam is the answer to Japan’s problem on IT manpower. 
Vietnam’s universities graduate around 55,000 IT engineers each year.
According to FPT Software, initial statistics showed around 20,000 Vietnamese workers are serving the Japanese market in IT outsourcing (ITO) and business product outsourcing (BPO). 
The company itself has 1,000 employees working at its 5 offices in Japan and 5,000 others involving in contracts for Japanese customers. 
FPT Software reported revenues of nearly 3.6 trillion VND from the Japanese market in 2017, up 26 percent from 2016 and accounting for 58 percent of its total revenue. 
The company needs to recruit 2,000 more employees this year to meet the increasing flow of orders from Japan. 
Since 2014, Vietnam has been the second largest partner of Japan in terms of ITO and BPO. A dozen of Vietnamese software firms have opened subsidiaries in Japan. 
Recently, several Japanese companies have joined hands with universities in Asian countries, including Vietnam, to train IT human resources for the Japanese market. 
One such example is Framgia Inc., which set up its subsidiary in Vietnam in October 2012. Framgia Vietnam has partnered up with Vietnam’s three leading universities in terms of IT training to provide training and help students find jobs in Japan. Students participating in the cooperation programme will attend two classes entirely in Japanese a week with Japanese lecturers who are experienced IT engineers. 
According to Framgia, nearly 800 Vietnamese students have joined the training programme so far at the Hanoi University of Science and Technology, the Da Nang University of Science and Technology and the University of Engineering and Technology under the Vietnam National University-Hanoi. 
The company hopes to increase the number of students joining the programme to 1,000. 
Besides training, Framgia also coordinated with local universities to hold job fairs for IT students. At the latest Vietnam IT Job Fair held by Framgia and the Hanoi University of Science and Technology in June, four Japanese companies recruited 16 Vietnamese students.
A representative of Sigma XYZ, one of the companies attending the job fair, said he was impressed by the students’ capacity in both professional skills and working under pressure.