Craft villages in the capital city of Hanoi are sharing a concern over the shortage of highly-skilled craftsmen, which is hindering them from improving the designs and competitiveness of products.
Hanoi is now home to more than 1,350 craft villages, accounting for 45% of the nation’s total number. The villages together have created jobs and stable incomes for 740,000 workers.
Nguyen Nhu Dien, from Son Linh footwear establishment in Phu Yen commune of Phu Xuyen district, said the Phu Yen footwear and leather craft village is facing a labour shortage, particularly those with high skills.
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Many villagers no longer want to take part in the traditional craft and they switch to work in industrial parks for a more stable income source and better insurance, Dien added.
According to Nguyen Phuong Quang, an artisan and businessman in Chuong My district’s Phu Vinh village, which is known for bamboo and rattan products, said the labour issue is making local production stagnant. Phu Vinh’s bamboo and rattan products are now mostly produced following ready-made designs thus lacking diversity amid an increasing competitive market.
Hoang Xuan Thuy, director of the Hanoi centre for industrial promotion and industrial development consultancy, stressed vocational training is key to tackling the problem, adding that his centre is organising courses on bamboo and rattan crafts, ceramics, and silk weaving, among others.
Being aware of the matter, the Hanoi People’s Committee has recently issued a plan on craft village development for 2018. Accordingly, the city will provide funds for 12 villages to build trademarks, 20 craft production establishments to hire experts for product designing, and 14 other establishments to apply advanced technologies.
The capital will also provide training for 24,000 rural labourers and 1,500 managers of rural production establishments.
In 2017, the city’s craft villages brought home estimated revenue of US$200 million from exports.VNA