Nguyễn Thanh Nhàn. — Photo hanoimoi.vn
Nguyễn Thanh Nhàn, deputy director of Hà Nội Department of Labour and Social Affairs, speaks to the newspaper Hà Nội Mới (New Hà Nội) on the need to have high quality workforce.
What is your assessment of the labour market in Hà Nội over the last few years?
From 2008-2018, Hà Nội provided jobs to almost 1.4 million people and in 2018 more than 190,000 people found new jobs, achieving 125 per cent of the goal. Among those people, up to 98.3 per cent found jobs in the domestic labour market and only 1.7 per cent went to work abroad.
Hà Nội is the country’s economic and culture centre, so every year it attracts tens of thousands of people from other provinces to come to work in the city.
It is projected that in 2019 and beyond, the number of jobs in Hà Nội will increase considerably. This is good news for many people.
Do you think the present labour force has the skills required by employers?
Hà Nội now has some 4 million working people – a very good human resource for the city and nation as a whole in the course of socio-economic development. Regarding labour quality, up to 63.18 per cent of the labour force has been trained – the highest figure nationwide.
However, I have to say their labor productivity still needs to improve and the number of people working in the informal economy remains dominant. By now, more than 20% percent of the labour force have occupational skill levels from secondary and college upward. Notably, many workers lack ‘soft skills’ to raise their work performance – a key reason many of them have often moved from one job to another.
In short, the labour market in Hà Nội has gradually met the city’s requirements in international integration and development.
What drives the rapid development of the labour market in Hà Nội?
Hà Nội has adopted many policies and programmes to improve the city’s labour quality, particularly people with high skills.
In 2013, the Hà Nội People’s Council adopted Resolution No.23/2013 on a plan to develop a network of vocational schools and colleges by 2020 and toward 2030.
On April 26, 2016, the Hà Nội Party Committee adopted the programme on the development of culture and society and improving the quality of the city’s labour force from 2016-2020.
Now Hà Nội has 369 occupational training centres with an enrolment of more than 178,000 students per year. Most of the graduates found their jobs following their graduation or became self-employed. Notably, the Hà Nội Hi-tech College and the Việt Nam-Korea College have been invested with billions of đồng and graduates from these two colleges have been acknowledged regionally and internationally.
From 2016-2020 and toward 2025, Hà Nội has selected 21 occupations as the key occupations to focus on in their teaching programmes.
Why do many graduates from vocational secondary schools struggle to find jobs?
The first reason is that most secondary graduates want to go to universities and enrolling in secondary college is their second choice. This is food for thought for authorities on how to recruit more high school students to enroll in vocational schools instead of all students applying to go to university.
Adding to that, the Government should adopt a specific policy to attract enterprises to get involved in vocational training.
Last but not least, on the side of employees, they should have good labour skills as well as other requirements, including life skills, IT technology, foreign language skills and others.
The Programme 04 adopted by the Hà Nội Party Committee has set the target that by 2020, some 70-75 per cent of its labour force will have attended skill courses. What should Hà Nội do to hit the target?
To achieve this goal, we need the involvement from different sectors, including all concerned authorities and people.
Meanwhile, vocational training institutions should work closely with the enterprises to know what technical skills they want from their future workers. Adding to that learning a foreign language should be compulsory for all vocational students.
Last but not least, I want the Government, in the very near future, to issue a national plan for vocational training school development. Meanwhile, agencies at the central level and particularly in Hà Nội should come up with their projections on the needs of their labour force in these localities.
Does the Hà Nội Department of Labour and War Invalids have any measures to raise the quality of the city’s labour force?
We have paid high regard to communication campaigns on occupational skills training and to make the training fit the needs of the labour market. In our plan, in the near future, we’ll focus more on close co-operation between vocational training institutions with enterprises to have a good match between supply and demand in the labour force. — VNS