Viet Nam News
MEKONG DELTA — The Mekong Delta is one of the richest parts of Việt Nam, leading the country in rice, shrimp and other agricultural products.
But now the area is facing a labour shortage as young people leave to work in HCM City and southeastern provinces.
Lý Sa Rượng from Trần Đề District in Sóc Trăng Province told Tiền Phong (Vanguard) newspaper that many young people had left their hometowns to find jobs in Bình Dương Province.
“Only old people and children are left behind. Young people have gone to Bình Dương Province including my three children,” he said.
“Farming does not provide a stable income.”
Vice Chairman of the district’s Thạnh Thới An Commune Nguyễn Hải Quân said local people mostly worked in agriculture with two rice crops a year.
Mechanisation had replaced manual work so people had more free time after the harvests. As a result, many had left home for the big cities to find other jobs, he said.
To help young people, local authorities have co-ordinated with the district’s vocational centre to regularly open training courses for rural labourers to find jobs.
Other provinces in the region such as Hậu Giang, Kiên Giang, Đồng Tháp and Bạc Liêu are in the same situation.
Young families leave their children in the care of their grandparents as they go in search of jobs in the cities.
Lâm Hòa Nhẫn, deputy head of the vocational training office under Sóc Trăng Province’s Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, said the People’s Committee had requested the labour sector to find solutions to limit young people leaving home to work in other provinces and cities.
At the same time, the province has also called on large enterprises to invest in the locality to attract workers.
Currently, Nhà Bè Garment Company and two footwear companies from Taiwan and South Korea are operating in the province.
The province also needs human resources to develop tourism, energy and high-tech agriculture.
“New progress has been made in job creation. It is a step towards calling workers back to their hometowns,” Nhẫn said.
However, the current number of labourers in the province does not meet the recruitment demands of the 2,000 businesses operating there.
Nhà Bè Garment Company has to find workers from neighbouring provinces to fill its 8,000 positions.
“Enterprises are thirsty for workers but face recruitment issues. The province has co-ordinated with agencies and localities to seek workers but failed to help them,” said Nhẫn.
According to Nhẫn, the average salary for unskilled workers in big cities was about VNĐ6-7 million (US$260-300) per month but the cost of living and accommodation was high, so they could save only VNĐ1.5-2 million per month.
In rural areas, they could earn VNĐ3.5-4 million per month but did not have high daily expenses because they lived with their families.
Currently, the recruitment demand of big companies in the province is about 25,000.
To deal with the labour shortage, the province has encouraged high school students who do not want a higher education to join vocational centres and then find jobs in the area, Nhẫn said.
At the same time, the province is also trying to attract skilled workers in other provinces using preferential policies, including free training and support for the cost of learning.
Local labourers and enterprises would receive more preferential policies, he said.
Nguyễn Duy Phúc, director of the Job Service Centre in Cần Thơ City, said the demand for workers was huge, especially in seafood, garment and footwear companies.
Enterprises in HCM City and Bình Dương Province also offered more job opportunities for young workers, Phúc said.
Lâm Thành Sỹ, secretary of An Giang Province’s Youth Union, told the newspaper that to keep young people working in the locality, the union had been trying to help them start their own businesses.
The union was opening a store to sell products from start-ups and offering capital to help young people conduct business, said Sỹ.
Young people would be offered funding, technology and skills to develop creative start-up projects, said Nguyễn Thị Thu Vân, vice president of the Việt Nam Youth Federation.
However, the most important things were solutions in each locality to support young people, she said. — VNS