Actions needed to improve vocational training support for job seekers

April 19, 2024 - 10:23
The number of people receiving unemployment benefits increased from 63,363 in 2021 to 84,984 in 2023, but only a small percentage of them attended vocational training courses.
Job seekers at an employment fair in Hà Nội. — Photo courtesy of Hà Nội Centre for Employment Services

HÀ NỘI — Vocational training support is part of the unemployment insurance policies, but job service centres report that on a yearly average, less than 5 per cent of job seekers opt for these courses.

Job seeker Dương Thu Hà told Vietnam News Agency at a mobile job fair in Hai Bà Trưng District in Hà Nội: “I am on unemployment benefit, but I don’t go to vocational training courses because what they offer – cooking, baking, driving, doesn't suit me.

“The vocational training support is VNĐ1.5 million (US$60) per month at six months maximum. This amount and complicated procedures make it difficult to attend these classes.”

According to the Hà Nội Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, the number of unemployment policy beneficiaries rises through the years, but the number of those receiving vocational training support from these policies is on a decline.

Data from the Hà Nội Centre for Employment Services (HCES) showed that the number of people receiving unemployment benefits increased from 63,363 in 2021 to 71,717 in 2022 and 84,984 in 2023.

However, only a small percentage of them attended vocational training courses, with 558, nearly 1,120 and 487 people in 2021, 2022 and 2023, respectively.

Trần Việt Hùng, dean of Hà Nội Vocational Secondary School of Public Transport, said that only 172 students have been admitted to the institution since 2021.

The number of admissions dropped from 96 in 2021 to 44 in 2022 and 27 in 2023, all are enrolled in car driving courses.

The school has been working with HCES for career consultation, admissions and training for unemployment policy beneficiaries.

The school leader said that vocational training for unemployment policy beneficiaries at the institution and elsewhere are encountering multiple challenges, such as different application times which affect enrolment and class schedules.

The limited financial support also means students have to cover a portion of tuition fees themselves, in addition to the high costs of living in the city.

According to Deputy Director of Hà Nội Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyễn Tây Nam, the current laws and regulations have included many preferential policies for the unemployed.

However, a majority of job seekers want to quickly find new employment rather than taking vocational courses and do not take full advantage of this support.

Nam said that employment service centres need to improve consultation and communication with people on unemployment benefits and vocational training institutions to offer a flexible mode of learning, which should allow job seekers to arrange their schedules and register for courses that suit their capacity.

These centres should also strengthen cooperation with businesses for training.

The amendment to the current employment law also plans to offer more support to employers in improving their staff capacity, especially in cases of disasters, changes of operation location, scale or structure due to orders from authorities or law requirements.

The current vocational training support addresses the educational needs of job seekers but has not been able to improve their professional skills.

In addition to covering living cost and transportation expenses for vocational students who reside far from educational facilities, the employment law amendment also proposes expanding the scope to upskilling job seekers. — VNS