Viet Nam aims to send 90,000 guest workers abroad in 2015, deputy director of the Overseas Labour Management Department Tong Hai Nam told Thoi Bao Kinh Te Viet Nam (Viet Nam Economic Times).
Last year was a successful year for Viet Nam in sending guest workers abroad. Will you please explain why?
In 2014, although the world's economy still faced many difficulties, the number of Vietnamese guest workers working abroad increased in a big way, particularly to Japan and Taiwan. Vietnamese guest workers have improved their skills considerably - and their knowledge of foreign languages and discipline. In addition, the Government has made some adjustments in policies to enable more guest workers go abroad.
Due to the prolonged economic crisis, the demand for foreign guest workers in many countries in 2014 was low. This led to fierce competition among labour-export countries.
Viet Nam also faced some problems with guest workers. Many labour disciplinary violations were reported, particularly in potential labour markets. For example, some workers breached their contracts or refused to come home after their contracts ended.
Despite all those problems, statistics from the Overseas Labour Management Department show that in 2014, about 60,000 Vietnamese guest workers went to work in Taiwan. It was the best year in 14 years.
Taiwan is a close and friendly market for Vietnamese guest workers. Furthermore it is not a demanding market. What's more important, basic wages are higher than in other markets, about $630 per month. In addition, legal protection given to foreign guest workers is comprehensive.
What led to the surge in the Taiwanese labour market? What about the Japanese market?
In my opinion, there are several reasons for the surge of Vietnamese guest workers in Taiwan in 2014. Firstly, in late 2011, Taiwan adopted a policy to promote economic development and create employment.
Since then, this policy has been the driving force for the increase in foreign workers in the country. Meanwhile, labour supply needs declined in other countries, including Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines. Taking advantage, Viet Nam labour exporting companies recruited qualified workers and then gave them additional training before sending them to Taiwan.
For the Japanese market, its demand for guest workers is high, particularly for technical intern trainees. In the past ,Vietnamese trainees worked mainly in engineering, electronics and garment sectors, but in the last three years, they have been offered more choices. For example, they can work in construction engineering, agriculture, food processing industry, garment and others.
To prepare for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, Japan plans to increase the number of foreign technical intern trainees specialised in construction engineering. So this is a promising market for former Vietnamese intern trainees.
What is Viet Nam's labour export perspective this year? Will the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community affect our labour export activity?
Viet Nam has set a target to export 90,000 guest workers in 2015. In my opinion, our labour export markets will focus on traditional markets. I'm confident with good labour skills and good command of foreign languages, our workers will be able to satisfy high demands from foreign employers.
In late 2015, when the ASEAN Economic Community is established, all ASEAN citizens specialised in eight occupations, namely accounting, architecture, dentistry, medical work, engineering, nursing, logistics and hospitality, will be freely to work in whatever ASEAN nation they want. Of course, people with expertise and academic achievements as well as good English will be the first selection choice. — VNS