If Vietnam remains unprepared in its education, vocational training and upskilling for the workforce, the country won’t be ready to take full advantage of the AEC launch, compared with other countries.
The Impact of AEC
The launch of AEC could bring in foreign investment and remove trade barriers, accommodating the growth of the economy and the job market. Vietnam’s envious demographics and natural resources have led to the expansion of roles in the labour market and requests for specialised skill sets. There is clearly a need for improving the quality of education and vocational training.
Compared to the past 10 years, Vietnam is now seeing many new job requirements in some industries such as construction, transportation, automotives, IT, healthcare and finance. The government is doing its utmost to step up the integration, and improve labour capacity and job quality. They also need to work with companies on new requirements of education and vocational training in order to meet future demands.
Protecting Migrant Labour
Alongside increased opportunities in the job market, the AEC also allows Vietnamese workers to go abroad and work in other ASEAN countries. Recruitment agencies will play a key role in this international migration. There are more than 170 recruitment agencies in Vietnam exporting approximately 80,000 workers annually to more than 40 countries and territories across the world. The number keeps increasing. However, there are still some obstacles for private employment agencies to perform in this sector.
Challenge for Private Employment Agencies
Among the 174 licensed agencies working in Vietnam, over 60 percent are public employment agencies, which leaves very little room for private employment agencies like Adecco. Despite the fact that the private sector could bring best practices and improve the industry landscape, there are still many restrictions that do not allow them to enter into the licensing process in this area.
The Code of Conduct (CoC-VN) for recruitment agencies launched in 2010 is an appropriate tool to improve compliance with Vietnamese legislation and international standards for migrant labour. Most of the private employment agencies are now looking at improving the licensing process, which would allow them to step into the industry and promote its development.
Nicola Connolly is the general director of Adecco Vietnam and chairwoman of the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam