Domestic workers learn how to earn more

Update: October, 09/2015 - 09:06
Domestic workers are expected to benefit from national competency standards intended to enrich them with occupational skills and knowledge as well as improve their livelihoods. — Illustrative Image

HA NOI (VNS) — Domestic workers are expected to benefit from national competency standards intended to enrich them with occupational skills and knowledge as well as improve their livelihoods.

The standards were published for the first time by the Research Centre for Gender-Family and Community Development (GFCD) and General Directorate of Vocational Training (GDVT) last month.

They were complied based on the directorate's vocational training programme and Regional Model Competency Standards (RMCS) for domestic work in Asia and the Pacific set by the International Labor Organisation (ILO).

The standards cover seven groups, which are basic competencies; cooking food and making drinks; cleaning houses, gardens, yards; washing and ironing; caring for infants and children; caring for elderly and ill people; caring for household pets and plants.

They also encourage domestic workers to acquire a foreign language if necessary and know how to give first-aid.

According to the research centre, the standaqrds provide basic criteria for families to hire housemaids and pay reasonable wages while training establishments can use them as a reference source to compile training documents, aiming at providing highly qualified workers.

Ngo Thi Ngoc Anh, centre director, said that 96 per cent of domestic workers in Viet Nam came from the country and few had finished high school. Man y flocked to the cities to become housemaids with monthly average wages between VND3 million (US$133) and VND7 million ($311).

Households want to hire domestic workers who can professionally do housework, cook and look after children. However, up to 90 per cent of Vietnamese domestic workers have yet to experience any training courses and only work based on their personal experiences, she said. A housemaid in Ha Noi for three years, Nguyen Thi Thinh, 55, from Nam Dinh, has not taken any training classes.

"I followed the instruction of the house owner. At first, I found it new and strange. After two years, I am gradually used to the tasks," she said.

Being asked about the training course for housemaids, 51-year-old Pham Thi Minh, a nanny hailing from Thanh Hoa, said, "I do not have to learn how to take care of children. I have experience looking after my children in my home town"

A recent survey by the research centre in Ha Noi, Nam Dinh, Khanh Hoa and Ho Chi Minh City revealed that 77 per cent of domestic workers want to take training courses to earn more money.

Nearly 90 per cent of employers will increase wages for trained housemaids.

The survey also found that Philippines domestic workers in Viet Nam, who are good at culinary skills, knows how to use electric household appliances, deal with emergency cases, teach children English and pick up children at school every day. They earn up to VND18 million ($800) to VND20 million per month ($889).

Bui Sy Loi, deputy chairman of the National Assembly's Social Affairs Commission, said that the standards were compiled carefully with content meeting real demands of workers.

However, meeting all these standards was difficult for Vietnamese workers, he said, adding that in Viet Nam, domestic work was considered an unstable job, only for people with low intellectual ability.

Loi said that as the ASEAN community gets ready to operate, Vietnamese domestic workers needed to be trained professionally to meet regional working standards. In 2010, Viet Nam had more than 200,000 domestic workers. The figure is expected to reach 350,000 in 2020.— VNS