Viet Nam News
ĐỒNG THÁP – “Went as employees but return as entrepreneurs” is the motto of Đồng Tháp Province’s labour export programme and it is proving to be effective.
Trần Duy, 25, of An Long Commune in Tam Nông District, for instance, was from a large, disadvantaged family, and after finishing high school decided to go and work in Japan.
He worked in the food industry for three years until November 2018 for an average monthly salary of VNĐ30 million (US$1,300).
He managed to save VNĐ500 million by the time he returned. He said with the knowledge and skills he had acquired, and the money, he is ready to start a business in his hometown.
On average, a person working abroad sends home VNĐ20-30 million a month, helping change the financial condition of their family.
Bùi Thị Tre of Gạo Giồng Commune in Cao Lãnh District said her son and daughter-in-law went to work in Japan right after the birth of their first child. She had to borrow over VNĐ300 million to send them.
“At first they said it was difficult since they missed home and their child, and the working hours were demanding. But now they are used to it and send me around VNĐ40 million a month.
“Thanks to the money, I have paid off the debt and now have a savings account.”
Lê Văn Thương of Đốc Binh Kiều Commune, Tháp Mười District, has two children, both with pharmaceutical intermediate degrees, working in Japan now.
“At first I did not agree [to let them go to work in Japan], but they told me they wanted to go there to learn new things and not just to make money. Then I said ‘yes’."
His children send home around VNĐ40 million a month, which Thương has been saving up for them so that when they return they will have capital to start their own businesses.
At a year-end meeting recently with more than 500 parents whose children are working in Japan, Lê Minh Hoan, the provincial Party Secretary, said the programme of sending guest workers abroad under fixed-term contracts has been quite successful as clearly shown by the increase in the number of household businesses.
He said the goal of working abroad is not solely earning money but also, more importantly, acquiring skills and knowledge to become entrepreneurs after returning home.
This is a way to generate jobs, improve incomes, stabilise people’s lives and contribute to socio-economic development, he said.
“You can spend all the money you have earned but knowledge is something that still stays with you and helps you earn more money.”
According to statistics from the province Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, last year 2,007 workers were sent overseas, double the target, including 1,400 to Japan.
More than 500 locals are now attending language classes and waiting for their turn to go. Tam Nông, Cao Lãnh and Lấp Vò are the three leading localities in terms of sending abroad guest workers.
Nguyễn Thị Minh Tuyết, director of the Đồng Tháp Province Employment Service Centre, said the most attractive places for workers are Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, and Malaysia. The most popular industries to work in are interior decoration, mechanical engineering, seafood processing, and electronics.
She said her centre is working with the department and the local administration to find ways to enable workers return after working for a few years in Japan to contribute to the province’s development.
"To do this, it is necessary to have policies and an environment that enable workers to start their own businesses or attract Japanese enterprises to invest in Đồng Tháp.”
Đồng Tháp has pioneered a policy that allows workers to get unsecured loans for going abroad to work. Last year more than 1,600 people borrowed 90-100 per cent of the money they required for this from the Việt Nam Bank for Social Policies.
Besides, the province’s employment service centre offers VNĐ6.6 million each to 1,400 people to attend vocational and language training classes and getting medical checks and visas to go abroad.—VNS