Update: 15:25 | 09/02/2019
The share of job seekers who are using formal channels (employment services) is growing in Vietnam but still accounts for a minority of the job search channels used. Most jobs in the country today are filled through personal contacts, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).
A study by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) with GSO data found that around 40 percent of employed young people had found their jobs by asking friends and family.
Valentina Barcucci, ILO Vietnam’s Labour Economist, said that the higher the education and training attainment of a job seeker, the more likely they are to rely on employment services.
Students learn mechanics at Bach Dang Job Training Centre in Hanoi.
The strengthening of employment services is also important in the context of Vietnam’s role within ASEAN, which the country will chair in 2020.
According to ILO, Vietnam has made an important step in labor market development by ratifying ILO Convention 88, known as the Employment Service Convention. Employment services promote an efficient development, integration
To achieve this objective, they serve two groups of direct clients – workers (which they assist to find suitable employment) and employers (which they assist to find suitable workers). Employment services are therefore at the intersection of two networks of information – the one on job applicants and the one on job vacancies.
In a country in transformation like Vietnam, labor market information is a vital source of data on how the labor market is evolving.
Employment services can produce a large set of labor market information through administrative data coming from the profiles of job seekers, occupations in demand by employers and therefore skills needs, duration of job search by the profile of job seeker, hard-to-fill vacancies, and others.
These data all help answer questions such as What skills do employers look for? Do job seekers find jobs that match their qualifications? Who needs to look for jobs for relatively longer periods? What skills are missing – and yet needed - on the labor market?
Convention 88 states that one of the objectives of employment services is to facilitate occupational and geographical mobility. In the context of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, the chart towards economic and cultural integration, ASEAN envisages increased openness in a number of areas, including the ‘seamless movement’ of skilled labor.
The ILO will also provide continuous assistance on institutional commitments such as formal reporting on the implementation of Convention 88. The Convention on Employment Service became the 22nd ILO Convention Vietnam has ratified.
By the end of 2019, Vietnam also plans to ratify Convention 98 on the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining – one of the remaining fundamental conventions – and Convention 159 on Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons).