Concerned with expanding education and building skills for future employment, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), UNICEF and the Mekong Development Research Institute (MDRI) released today a report entitled “Assessment on Employability Skills Gaps and Good Practices by Businesses to Upskill Marginalized and Vulnerable Young People.”
The research explores current and future projected skills for employability for young people
among three industries: apparel and footwear, travel and tourism, and information-communication technologies (ICT). In total, over four in five surveyed firms value creativity, teamwork and active listening in their future young employees.
As per the findings, about 60% of young employees aged 15-24 are taking up informal employment. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact Viet Nam’s economy and labor force, young employees face increasing difficulty in transiting out of informal and unsecured employment. Many Vietnamese young people still lack formal technical training and transferable skills necessary to keep up with the 4th Industrial Revolution.
Even though education attainment can be used to predict labor market performance and vulnerability to automation, in reality firms still report a wide gap between formal qualifications and actual performance.
Firms also report that foreign language and advanced IT skills are often evaluated as young employees’ weakest technical skills, while management and communication skills are generally rated among the weakest transferrable skills. It is found that Foreign Domestic Investment (FDI) enterprises are more likely to recruit vulnerable and marginalized young people than domestic firms. ICT firms are more willing to recruit people with disabilities but also disclose that gender stereotypes also drive away many competent female workers in traditionally male-dominated fields like ICT.
The assessment reveals that many young people in Viet Nam are not aware of the necessary employability skills to embrace chances for their professional life. Out-of-school adolescents and youth even face more obstacles to get formal employment, especially those aged 15-17 and marginalized groups.
The report also summarizes good practices from different stakeholders to improve young people’s employability and provides recommendations for stakeholders to offer decent jobs and employability-enhancing activities for young people, with a focus on marginalized and vulnerable groups.