tackle rising threat of unemployment due to global crisis
of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Viet Nam Rie Vejs Kjeldsgaard
spoke to Viet Nam News about the country’s unemployment situation and
resolutions to the issue.
to ILO’s recent annual Global Employment Trends report, the global economic
crisis is expected to lead to a dramatic increase in unemployment. Viet Nam is
estimated to see significant job losses this year. What do you think are the
resolutions for the unemployment situation in Viet Nam?
The impact of the crisis
is severe and requires urgent action from the Government, which may then
consider a series of comprehensive measures with focus on vulnerable groups
including 1) maximising the employment impact of the stimulus package, 2)
improving social protection for the poor and the vulnerable, 3) supporting
sustainable small-medium enterprises, 4) supporting employers’ and workers’
organisations in policy design and enhancing policy dialogue at all levels, 5)
ensuring the observance of fundamental principles and rights at work during the
crisis, 6) boosting domestic-based growth in the overall development strategy
and 7) strengthening international co-operation.
ILO Viet Nam is currently
assisting the Vietnamese Government in formulating its first-ever national
employment strategy for the 2011-2020 period. For human resources and skills
development, there is an EU-MoLISA-ILO project aimed at improving the quality
and availability of information on local labour markets and skills needs. The
project includes a nationwide labour market information system and the
enhancement of skills training quality and relevance through capacity building
in Vietnamese institutions.
These initiatives will
help to make Viet Nam’s human resource development system more effective and
responsive to market signals and better equipped to meet the demands of the
global economy. In addition, some technical programmes are being considered in
an effort to assist the Government in developing policies, strategies and
programmes to support youth employment and protection.
have been five million Vietnamese workers in traditional trade villages without
jobs since the beginning of the year. What solutions should Viet Nam’s
Government implement to not only find jobs for these workers but also more
importantly to protect the traditional trade villages?
We share the Vietnamese
Government views that the traditional trade villages and small enterprises in
the rural areas are among the most affected by the economic crisis. According to
the estimates of Viet Nam Association of Craft Villages (VICRAFTS), there may be
5 million workers facing job losses in 2009 (approximately 50 per cent of the
total of 11 million labourers working in 2,790 traditional trade villages all
over the country). To secure jobs for labourers in rural areas and to preserve
traditional trade villages in the short-term, special assistance should be given
to SMEs with regards to access to credit, new technologies and markets; skills
training and improvement; and training returned and redundant workers. In the
long-run, for the sustainable development of rural employment and traditional
trade villages, there is a need for coherent national strategic planning and a
shift to promoting sustainable enterprises and "green jobs".
number of people from rural areas are coming to the cities to seek jobs, while
unemployed people from urban areas tend to move to rural areas. Will this be
another crisis for the Vietnamese labour market?
Internal migration is a
normal phenomenon in most countries. The challenge here is to have an adequate
legal framework including long-term and harmonised development policies for
rural areas, which should encourage positive internal migration. People from
rural areas have now become an indispensable human resource in urban life and
have made considerable contributions to urban and industrial development as well
as the re balancing of incomes between rural and urban areas. It is critical to
reduce and prevent the negative impacts of migration, including the huge flow of
people from rural areas seeking temporary and vulnerable employment while being
exposed to social insecurities and the overloading of urban centres with
inadequate capacity. Rural people should be provided with access to decent work,
opportunities for skills development, access to credit, information and public
services, and equal opportunities for social protection. In short, a balanced
and harmonised development planning for both urban and rural areas would be
essential for solving internal migration issues and ensuring social progress and
is a threat for disadvantaged groups, such as people with disabilities, people
who are reintegrating into society, and so on. Could ILO provide support to Viet
Nam’s Government in assisting these people?
The ILO is committed to
helping countries extend social protection to all groups in society, especially
disadvantaged groups. The ILO has recently launched two global projects in this
regard with Viet Nam as one of the beneficiary countries. One of them is
Promoting the Employability and Employment of People with Disabilities (PWD)
through Effective Legislation (PEPDEL). The project aims at promoting further
review and revision of relevant legislation, regulations and their improved
implementation and enforcement to enhance the employability and employment of
persons with disabilities. The other project, Promoting Decent Work for PWD
through a Disability Inclusion Support Service (INCLUDE), focuses on enabling
organisations at the national level to effectively support disability inclusion.
By doing so local capacity is built and sustainability promoted. These two
projects are expected to be completed in 2011. — VNS