Facilitating labour export    
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Facilitating labour export Vietnam sent 134,000 workers abroad in 2017, equivalent to 128% of the target set for the entire year (illustrative image)
Jul 05 2018

Sending Vietnamese labourers abroad is a sound policy of the Party and State in a bid to generate more jobs for labourers, particularly young people. Vietnam has so far had about 500,000 labourers working in foreign countries and the number of labourers working abroad has increased in recent years.

Remarkably, Vietnam sent 134,000 workers abroad in 2017, equivalent to 128% of the target set for the entire year. In the first five months of this year, the total number of Vietnamese workers abroad was posted at 47,247, reaching 42.95% of the year's plan.

According to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, sending labourers abroad helps Vietnam to create jobs for more than 100,000 people and earn nearly US$3 billion each year.

In addition, labour export also contributes significantly to changing the thinking and awareness of labourers in addition to improving their work skills. Employees can have access to advanced technology and equipment while enhancing their foreign languages and cultural understanding. Many labourers continue to work in the field of their expertise and earn a stable income after returning to Vietnam.

However, in markets with high incomes, the rate of Vietnamese workers who fled or refused to return home after the expiration of their labour contract remains high. In the Republic of Korea (RoK), the highest annual ratio was recorded at 55%, while the average ratio in other countries is 15%. An important reason for this situation is the high demand for workers from RoK business owners while workers illegally staying in the RoK can evade income taxes.

In recent years, Vietnam has stopped sending labourers from a number of provinces and districts to the RoK as the host country refused to accept labourers from Vietnamese localities where the rate of labourers illegally staying in the RoK was more than 30%.

In addition, the operations of some companies specialising in labour export reveal inadequacies and violations, causing anxiety for the families of labourers and for labourers themselves.

Under the direction of the Government, relevant agencies of Vietnam have worked with the RoK authorities to strictly handle businesses committing violations. Vietnamese localities, ministries and sectors have also participated in disseminating information for labourers so that they must strictly comply with the contracts.

Thanks to joint efforts, the number of labourers illegally remaining abroad has seen an annual decrease. There were 58 districts with more than 30% of the workers staying in the RoK illegally in 2016 and that figure has fallen to 49 districts in 2018.

In addition, administrative procedures in the field of labour export should be further reduced to create favourable conditions for labourers, especially those in remote and mountainous areas.

It is necessary to strictly punish labour export enterprises committing violations to ensure that labourers can benefit from the relevant policies of the Party and State. Enterprises must issue public announcement on recruitment demand, fees, income and job description in each market. The concerned authorised agencies should provide specific information for labourers who wish to work abroad to avoid paying any additional fees.

The authorities also need to develop effective measures to overcome the current weaknesses of Vietnamese workers such as poor language skills and poor labour discipline. In addition, labour export enterprises should closely coordinate with the authorities of host countries and Vietnam to regularly support and solve problems for Vietnamese labourers abroad.-NDO