Young people attending the Rural Youth Forum play marshmallow game, which aims to enhance their team work skills.
The event, organized by the International Labour Organization (ILO) on behalf of the One United Nations in Viet Nam in the northern province of Phu Tho, gave the rural youth an opportunity to “raise” their voice and deliver their messages to policy-makers. It is part of the One UN consultation process of the post-2015 development agenda.
More than 100 young delegates at the forum agreed that measures should be adopted to make their job hunt less enduring and more successful.
“It’s very hard for fresh graduates like us to get a job,” said Pham Thi Hai Luyen from Phu Tho’s Tam Nong District.
“Most of my classmates are still out of work,” said the 24-year-old who graduated from the Hanoi-based Trade University in September 2011. “Among my ten close friends, only three have a real job whereas the other are doing nothing or end up with very low-paid seasonal work.”
Luyen herself is looking for an accounting job with a monthly salary of VND4-5 million (US$190-240) in her home province to lessen the burden on her parents who are also feeding her jobless brother and second-year university sister. But job application is no easy, she said, because “employers always ask for one or two years of work experience”.
Young rural people also called for better links between education and businesses to avoid the mismatch between skills offered at school and those required at the labour market. They also wanted to be equipped with “soft” skills, including team work and communication skills, from school and training courses.
“The central and local governments need to financially support young people who want to open a private company. It’s very difficult for them to start a business on their own,” said Duong Ngoc Bang, 24, from Phu Ninh District.
The young people said they are facing many employment problems, including job shortage, little access to job information, low wages, inadequate skills and poor working environment.
According to Nguyen Xuan Thanh from Phu Tho Job Promotion Centre, most of the provincial youth do manual and seasonal jobs.
“There need to be more job promotion centres, better system managing young people in working ages, supporting mechanism to build workers’ accommodation and investment in key vocational training centres whereas job creation projects should be brought to the rural areas,” he said.
The latest statistics from the General Statistical Office showed that almost half of the unemployed in the rural area are young people aged 15-24.
Even those who have a job, according to ILO reports, the quality of jobs is usually poor and without social security.
“Young people, women and men, are tremendous opportunities of rural areas. They can be the true engine for economic development,” said Loretta Deluca, Rural Employment and Decent Work Programme coordinator at the ILO. “We need to invest in rural areas, with young people leading the process.”
“Team work among institutions, employers, workers and youth is key to overcome challenges and achieve more jobs and better jobs for young people in rural areas,” she added.
For further information please contact:Ms Tran Quynh Hoa
ILO Country Office for Viet Nam
48-50 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, Hanoi
Tel.: (84-4) 37340907 Ext.218
Fax: (84-4) 37340904
Mobile: (84) 904 409 787