Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI – An inaccurate labour database and poor forecasting is exacerbating the nation’s unemployment problem, officials admitted at a conference on Thursday.
Tào Bằng Huy, deputy head of the Employment Administration under Ministry of Labour - Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA), said a programme to collect labour information was piloted in four provinces in 2008. In 2009, this was expanded to 15 other provinces and a year later, to the rest of the country.
The programme aimed to establish a database of labour supply, workers’ professional qualifications and employment demand. It would update information about changes in occupational status and training undergone by workers. This database was to serve as a foundation for provinces to prepare their socioeconomic development plans and manage human resources.
After eight years of implementation, labour information on all 63 provinces and cities has been added to the database, covering about 45 million workers, labour demand and other information from 311,115 entrepreneurs and businesses, as well as 5,095 non-agricultural cooperatives.
Although the database is a promising initiative, its implementation has been obstructed by shortages of financial and human resources. Despite the continuous changes happening in Việt Nam’s labour market, functional agencies, including the labour ministry only update the database once a year.
Furthermore, the data focuses mostly on official labour, not covering the informal sector, freelancers, farm workers and so on.
Doãn Mậu Diệp, deputy minister of MOLISA, said that labour market management was one of the ministry’s major focuses. A comprehensive evaluation of labour supply and demand will help orient, improve and balance the nation’s workforce, he said
However, Diệp also said that there were limitations in the data collecting process that led to low accuracy and slow updates, contributing to imbalances in the labour market and rising unemployment.
“The programme only collects data for some professions. Non-agricultural cooperatives, for example, have not been targeted by the programme,” Diệp said.
Lê Thị Trang Đài, deputy director of the Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu Province’s labour department, also highlighted difficulties in implementing the programme.
“In our province, the supply – demand connection happens on employment exchanges and websites. These have not been effective, since they depend heavily on proactive employers and employees (who are willing to supply information and updates on a regular basis),” she said.
She also felt that in order to sustainably reduce unemployment, long-term labour market forecasts, five to 10 years, were needed. However most Vietnamese companies did not have a long-term human resources development strategy, she added.
Vũ Quang Thanh, deputy director of Hà Nội Centre for Employment Service, stressed the significance of a comprehensive database.
He said: “In the near future, besides innovations in data collection, the quality of labour market information also needs to be improved. Reliable and extensive data is the foundation for making accurate forecasts.” – VNS