Connecting workers with employment market and protecting workers

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the labour market to face a serious crisis, with unemployment and underemployment rates rising to high levels. Labour supply and demand sees imbalance in most areas and industries while average monthly income of workers has decreased sharply compared to periods before the pandemic.

Workers participate in an online job fair in Hanoi in December 2021 (Photo: Minh Duy).
Workers participate in an online job fair in Hanoi in December 2021 (Photo: Minh Duy).

In this context, the unemployment insurance policy has promoted its role of accompanying workers and businesses to overcome difficulties and really become a support for workers when they lose their jobs, helping them to stabilise their lives and find new jobs.

The financial relief package of nearly 38 trillion VND (US$1.6 billion) sourced from the Unemployment Insurance Fund according to Government Resolution No. 116 is really a practical support policy for employees and employers during the pandemic.

Accompanying employees

Former Deputy Director of the Department of Employment under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Le Quang Trung said that this is the fourth time the pandemic has broken out in Vietnam and directly impacted industrial zones and workers. According to statistics, one sixth of young people in the world have had to stop working, leading to decreases in income.

In Vietnam, the pandemic has also directly affected 28.2 million workers and nearly 400,000 enterprises. The pandemic is not only causing difficulties in the short term but also in the long term, affecting recruitment, training, markets, and people, among others, Trung noted.

Unemployment insurance is not only a subsidy but also provides new training opportunities for workers, truly becoming the fulcrum of employees and employers, which is highly appreciated by society. This is also seen as a “lifebuoy” to help workers stabilise their lives when they lose their jobs as well as a springboard to help them return to the labour market soon.

“Due to the impact of the pandemic, the number of unemployed people is very large. However, the number of newly established businesses and the number of employees returning to work have been more positive. Through unemployment insurance policy, employees are provided with free advice and job opportunities, and the number of people who need advice is very large. In the first 11 months of 2021, more than 1.64 million people were provided with free career consultancy through the unemployment insurance policy,” said Tran Tuan Tu, head of the Unemployment Insurance Office under the Employment Department.

Connecting workers with the labour market

Le Quang Trung said that the economy will still be affected by the pandemic in 2022 and 2023, although the pandemic is likely to be basically under control by the end of 2022, and the labour market will become more positive.

It is forecast that the groups of industries related to information technology, biotechnology, food, and digital technology will develop strongly in the coming years. Therefore, young workers need to take advantage of their opportunities and improve their qualifications to keep their jobs and advance in their profession in order to meet the needs of the labour market. In addition, it is necessary for them to quickly equip themselves with trending industry knowledge and insurance policies to prepare for participation in the labour market.

Trung also noted that the solution to support workers to attend vocational training from unemployment insurance funds is considered a breakthrough. Apprentices must train in occupations that the labour market requires at qualified vocational training centres while evaluating their own capacity, desires, and circumstances in order to determine the right profession.

Enterprises must really pay attention to vocational training and take advantage of unemployment insurance to provide free vocational training for their workers. Currently, employment service centres have the function of consulting, introducing, and supporting training projects for employees. Therefore, employment service centres play a special position as a “bridge” to help connect employment supply and demand between enterprises and those who are newly of working age, Trung said.

Le Anh Tuan from the Hanoi Youth Employment Service Centre said that, in addition to the impact of the pandemic, the many challenges of the industrial revolution 4.0 also bring many opportunities for young people. Therefore, young people need to have a changing mindset to adapt to the changing world and to seize opportunities.

In the past two years amid the pandemic, the Hanoi Youth Employment Service Centre has been assigned by the Hanoi Youth Union to support young people regarding job counselling, start-ups, and skill development, among others.

The centre conducted career counselling programmes at 120 schools inside and outside Hanoi in 2021 and is estimated to do so at 150 schools in 2022. Young people who wish to do good work must focus on the three factors of “knowledge, skills, and attitude to work” and the Centre will assist them in practising these skills.