National Assembly discusses measures to promote labor export

Measures to boost labor export were raised and discussed at a meeting of the National Assembly’s Foreign Relations Committee July 8.

Workers in a labor export program take part in a training course before leaving the country (Photo: VNExpress)

Addressing the meeting, the deputy Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Welfare, Dam Huu Dac, emphasized that despite an annual increase in the number of workers in foreign countries, most workers earn low incomes because they are not equipped with necessary skills.

He blamed the lack of facilities and capital at many labor export companies, leading to their failure to give workers adequate preparation for their jobs, including instruction of foreign languages, culture and law in the countries where they will be employed.

Such factors have posed numerous obstacles to workers when they are working abroad, which is leading to a decrease in the value of Vietnamese workers on the market, said Mr Dac.

To overcome such problems, the Government should issue new incentive policies to promote the investment of export companies in improving their operation, he added.

Delegate Nguyen Thi Bach Mai suggested building up a prestige brand for Vietnam’s labor export industry.

To do so, said Ms. Mai, the Government should outline effective strategies to improve the quality of exported laborers to meet the demand of high-quality markets.

According to another delegate, Nguyen Lan Dung, the Government annually spends VND8 trillion (US$450 million) on training programs to farmers.

Mr. Dung said that such funds will bring fruitful results if the Government focuses on giving specific vocational and language training to three different groups workers: One working for industrial zones, another for hi-tech zones and the other for labor export programs.

Mr. Dam Huu Dac said that to achieve the target of sending 100,000 workers abroad by 2010, the Department for Overseas Worker Management should work with relevant authorities in provinces and cities to promote labor export possibilities.

He used Hai Duong and Tuyen Quang provinces as good examples, by pointing out that thousands of poor people changed their lives when provincial parties and people’s committees worked with the Department for Overseas Worker Management.

To improve the quality of labor resources, Mr Dac also proposed the Government invest in three vocational training centers in three different regions in the north, central and south to give training to people of employable age.

Nguyen Ngoc Quynh, director of the Department for Overseas Worker Management, said that workers who go to work in different countries will have different financial needs based on the costs of living.

He pointed out that a loan worth VND20 million is enough for a worker who goes to work in Malaysia, but not enough for those who go to work in European countries or in Japan.

He proposed banks raise the loan amount to workers who go to work in foreign countries that have higher standards of living.

At present, in 61 poor districts throughout the country, disadvantaged workers who take part in vocational training programs are offered loans with interest rates that are half those applied to loans given by the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies, which are given to poor people as starting funds for small businesses. 

By Minh Anh – Translated by Phuong Lan

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