Nguyễn Toàn Phong, director of the Hà Nội Employment Service Centre
Paying unemployment benefits, helping people learn new skills and connecting them with employers are key services provided by his agency, Nguyễn Toàn Phong, director of the Hà Nội Employment Service Centre, tells Kinh tế & Đô thị (Economic and Urban Affairs).
How many people have received unemployment benefits through your center this year?
In the first nine months of the year, we received some 29,800 applications for unemployment benefits, an increase of 26.32 percent over the same period last year. This is not unusual. Typically, the number of enterprises declaring bankruptcy in a year is almost matched by the number of newly established enterprises. This is normal in a market economy. Meanwhile, the number of people joining the employment market in Việt Nam has been increasing every year.
In Hà Nội, we receive an average of 4,000 applications for unemployment benefits each month. About half are those who’ve had their employment contracts ended by employers, and most of the remaining are those who have resigned to seek better-paying jobs.
What are the unemployment benefits that applicants receive?
They will enjoy three benefits. First is the money, which is based on the average wages of the last six months of employment. The duration of payment will depend on the period of employment, and the insurance premiums that have been paid.
For example, if a worker had paid insurance premiums for 12 to 24 months, she/he will receive 3 months of insurance benefit.
The second benefit that applicants get is support while looking for new jobs. When people come to us just looking for new jobs, their unemployment benefits will be reserved for the future. They will also be supported to train for a new job for six months, with a maximum of VNĐ1 million (US$45) per month.
What is the percentage of those seeking unemployment benefits also seeking new jobs or training for new vocations?
Currently, the most common careers offered by the Hà Nội Employment Service Centre are car driving, car and motorbike repair and maintenance, cooking, computer skills and accounting. The number of enrollments in these centers has increased every year. But the number of people collecting unemployment benefits and enrolling in these courses is not many. We do not have the actual numbers.
One thing I can tell you is that after attending the courses offered by the Hà Nội Employment Service Centre, many get jobs immediately because they are introduced by the centre to prospective employers. Quite a few of them open their own workshops and become employers, providing jobs to family members and others.
How many employment service centers do you run in Hà Nội?
At present, we have two centers (No 1 and No 2). We plan to establish some satellite centers in other localities to help people, particularly those who have lost their jobs, find employment as soon as possible.
We launched our first job fair in 2007. Then one was organised every quarter. But from 2015 on we decided to increase this to two every quarter. We have also organised such events with different themes. For instance, a job fair for people with disabilities, or some specific topic that both employers and employees want to focus on. This increases the choice for both.
During these events, we also offer consultancy services to job seekers, and act as a bridge linking them, particularly those on the dole, with enterprises’ representatives. We have already organized five job fairs this year for those living far away from the city center. These events have been highly appreciated by both employers and job seekers.
Do you have any advice for those applying to get unemployment benefits?
We ask them to read carefully the Government’s policy on unemployment benefits and understand their rights and responsibilities before filling the application forms and arranging the documents.
I would also advise those who have lost their jobs or those looking for new jobs to visit the employment service center closest to them. I’m confident that the visits will prove useful. — VNS