Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Vietnam to continue job expansion and education

Employment integral to development, says Deputy PM

An employment fair in Ho Chi Minh City that attracted droves of jobseekers
Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia Khiem asserted that employment policies would be vital to Vietnam's development at a forum in Hanoi Monday.

“Implementing unemployment insurance policies for workers plays a key role in promoting a strong workforce, seizing new opportunities and creating new driving forces to propel Vietnam through all challenges,” said Khiem as he opened the first Vietnam Employment Forum.

The Deputy PM highlighted Vietnam's socio-economic achievements in its 20 years of Doi Moi (Reform) policies, including 8.5 percent GDP growth rate in 2007, better living conditions, and an average of 1.6 million new jobs created each year of reforms.

He said the high demand for employment, particularly for young and rural people, has become a major issue in Vietnam.

He also said he was concerned about the bulging gap between the rich and the poor.

The Deputy PM hailed the support from international organizations, including the International Labor Organization (ILO), saying the government would encourage their increased cooperation to chalk out employment policies.

He said international assistance would help Vietnam in “creating eight million new jobs in the 2006-2010 period, ensuring employment for nearly 50 million people and reducing the urban unemployment rate to below five percent by 2010.”

At the forum, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Vietnam John Hendra praised the government's efforts in reducing poverty and guaranteeing employment for its citizens.

He said employment creation and decent work would be key to human development, poverty reduction and social inclusion in Vietnam, adding that the forum was a good opportunity to discuss the most pressing issues that the country now faces.

“With the commitment already shown by the government of Vietnam, we will continue to work in partnership to ensure every single person in Vietnam has an opportunity for decent work,” he said.

According to the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, in 2006, 3.5 percent of Vietnam's laborers were illiterate, 23.5 had a high school education and nearly 32 percent had vocational training.