|A local resident is vaccinated against COVID-19 in the northern province of Sơn La. VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — With a policy of putting humans at the centre and leaving no one behind, when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in Việt Nam, the Government continuously supported labourers with relief packages along with pandemic control measures.
In an interview granted to Vietnam News Agency on the occasion of the New Year, Ingrid Christensen, Director of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Country Office for Việt Nam, remarked that the Vietnamese Government had made significant efforts to mitigate the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic within its national resources and context.
“In parallel with the prevention and control of COVID-19, we are aware that in consultation with the Việt Nam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL), Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), and the Việt Nam Cooperative Alliance (VCA), the Government has extended various relief packages through different policies including on tax, capital, credit, and social security to retain jobs and to support businesses and workers,” Christensen said.
She appreciated the support of the Vietnamese Government through the relief packages, citing adjustments in tax regimes for businesses, which enabled enterprises to continue operations and retain workers in the difficult time. The Government’s support package gave businesses access to loans to pay salaries to employees, and provided deferrals in paying social insurance, unemployment insurance, and trade union premiums.
According to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs, Việt Nam’s labour market has leapt in both size and quality, gradually modernising and integrating into the world. Specifically, the size of the workforce is increasing and supply is guaranteed with over 51.6 million people. The quality of workers is improving with the rate of trained workers rising year by year.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed shortcomings such as the pressure of job creation for nearly two million workers who were forced to leave the labour market, and the shortage of labour in some fields. This situation requires the labour market to shore up its ability to cope with internal and external influences in order to develop sustainably.
The director of the ILO Country Office for Việt Nam said due to the efforts to protect the population throughout the COVID-19 period, the country has appeared to be recovering well. But with new potential crises on the horizon, economic and labour market challenges could still confront Việt Nam and these would require attention.
According to Christensen, to realise the goals of becoming a high-middle-income country by 2030 and a developed, high-income country by 2045, Việt Nam may need to accelerate social upgrading, together with economic upgrading.
“Strengthening the macroeconomic foundation and maintaining adequate and regular investment in social protection is one of the key factors for Việt Nam to pass through the challenges and sustain its inclusive and sustainable development,” she said.
Regarding vocational training for rural workers in localities of Việt Nam with the goal of helping them get new jobs and better income, Christensen cited statistics of the General Directorate of Vocational Training (DVET) under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, which show 4.57 million rural workers were supported in vocational training, of whom nearly 4 million, or 89.3 per cent, had jobs after vocational training, during the 2016-20 period.
She said the above information provided a promising scenario for further investment in DVET for rural workers. Furthermore, upgrading workers' skills should be a core element of enterprises’ long-term development strategy. Workers should also pursue lifelong learning principles to gain more knowledge, improve skills and enrich his/her work experience.
“In the coming years, ILO is committed to continuing working with DVET to support this important skills development and capacity building for rural workers through our development cooperation projects,” she said. — VNS