|Ingrid Christensen, Director of ILO Country Office for Vietnam (Source: ILO)
In an interview granted to Vietnam News Agency on the occasion of the new year, Ingrid Christensen, Director of ILO Country Office for Vietnam, remarked that the Vietnamese Government has made significant efforts to mitigate the negative impacts 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 Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL), Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), and the Vietnam 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 for example adjustments in tax regimes for businesses, which has 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 deferral in paying social insurance, unemployment insurance, and trade union premiums.
According to the Ministry of Labour – Invalids and Social Affairs, Vietnam’s labour market has leaped in both size and quality, gradually modernized and integrated into the world. Specifically, the size of the workforce is increasing and the 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 2 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 Vietnam said due to the efforts to protect the population throughout the COVID-19 period, Vietnam has appeared to be recovering well. But with new potential crises on the horizon, economic and labour market challenges could still confront the country and these would require attention.
According to Christensen, to realize the goals of becoming a high-middle-income country by 2030 and a developed, high-income country by 2045, Vietnam 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 Vietnam to pass through the challenges and sustain its inclusive and sustainable development”, she said.
About vocational training for rural workers in localities of Vietnam 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%, had jobs after vocational training, during the 2016-2020 period.
She said the above information has 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./.