Apart from focusing on traditional markets, the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs hopes to send more workers overseas. Thoi Bao Kinh Te (Viet Nam Economic Times) talked to Minister Pham Thi Hai Chuyen.
Last year was the first year that Viet Nam sent more than 100,000 workers abroad. Do you think that number will be maintained this year?
Last year, the labour export sector made some achievements. Sending more than 106,840 workers abroad amounted to 120.68 per cent of the target.
Programmes and projects on expanding the labour market were effectively implemented. The traditional markets were still stable. The markets of Taiwan and Japan posted a high growth of 29.4 per cent and 96.1 per cent respectively.
It is forecast that the situation will continue this year. The target for 2015 is to send 100,000 labourers to work abroad. The recruitment and training of human resources are the main tasks to be done to realise the target.
The ministry has asked the labour export-related businesses to carefully recruit, train and provide essential knowledge to workers before sending them abroad. This will help the workers to fully understand the requirements of foreigner employers as well as suit their personal demands.
The ministry will also co-operate with Viet Nam's diplomatic offices in the countries that have Vietnamese guest workers to immediately tackle any problems that may occur to minimise the risks for workers.
Moreover, the co-operation will help to expand labour-export markets in the coming years.
What do you think about opinions that say the project "supporting poor districts in labour export development for sustainable poverty reduction in the 2009-2020 period" faces the risk of failure?
After five years of implementing the government decision on supporting poor districts to boost labour export, more than 20,000 workers from various districts have taken part in the project. More than 10,000 workers have been sent to Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), South Korea and Japan, besides Saudi Arabia and Taiwan.
In general, the workers have earned a stable income.
However, there are some shortcomings. The number of workers sent abroad is still low. Most of workers are unskilled. There is insufficient provision of information about the labour export market to the workers. And the procedure of granting loans is not easy. Besides, some labour export businesses have not fulfilled their responsibilities and commitments, which lead to loss of confidence among the workers.
So, in 2013 and 2014, the ministry implemented several measures as solutions for these issues. Notably, the ministry carefully selected and published the names of businesses that are permitted to send workers abroad.
The vocational and foreign language training for workers has been further improved.
This year, the ministry will review policies and projects that focus on the quality of labour resources in poor districts.
The ministry will also ask the government to adjust policies and mechanisms to provide more favourable conditions to management authorities, businesses and workers to take part in the activity.
Last year, several Vietnamese labourers, working as family helpers in some countries in the Middle East, quit their jobs because of ill-treatment by their employers. What does the ministry plan to do to reduce risks for the workers in the market?
The incidents, where guest workers were ill-treated and were forced to quit their jobs, happened because the Vietnamese businesses did not provide the workers with all the requirements as well as inform them about the traditional customs and living conditions of the countries they were being sent to.
I also advise the businesses that if they are sending female workers to the Middle East, they should carefully guide the workers about the customs and culture of the Arab and Muslim people.
To reduce the risks for the workers in the region, the ministry also applies strictly regulations on businesses. Any business that does not comply with the regulations will have its licence revoked. — VNS