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Vietnam’s labour exports eye the European market in 2020

by NDO02 February 2020 Last updated at 17:45 PM

Some European countries are considering cooperation in employing Vietnamese workers.
Some European countries are considering cooperation in employing Vietnamese workers.

VTV.vn- In addition to focusing on maintaining traditional markets, the Department of Overseas Labour Administration under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) is promoting the development of some new labour markets in Europe.

2019 was the sixth consecutive year in which the number of Vietnamese guest workers exceeded 100,000 and the fourth consecutive year in which the figure surpassed 120,000 (106,840 workers in 2014, 115,980 in 2015, 126,289 in 2016, 134,751 in 2017 and 142,860 in 2018). In 2020, MOLISA has set the goal of sending 130,000 workers to work overseas, focusing on high-income markets.

According to Tong Hai Nam, director of the Department of Overseas Labour Administration, the trend of high urbanisation and population aging has resulted in many European nations having a labour shortage. Therefore, some countries in the ‘Old Continent’ are considering cooperation in recruiting Vietnamese workers.

“We are accelerating the progress and it is expected that MOLISA will sign a cooperation agreement with the German labour agency on accepting Vietnamese skilled workers to work in the country this year, specifically in 12 -13 industries of Germany’s needs. If we could access the German market, it will be a “gateway” to bring Vietnamese workers into Europe,” said Tong Hai Nam.

Alongside Germany, in 2019, Romania also emerged as a European market accepting an increasing number of Vietnamese migrant workers, receiving more than 3,400 compared to just 300-400 annually as in the previous years.

In addition, a number of Eastern European markets are also in need of hiring Vietnamese workers.

Vietnamese workers can register to work overseas in European countries through the businesses which have already been appraised and permitted by the Department of Overseas Labour Administration to implement labour supply contracts. Regarding the European market, the department now evaluates and approves labour supply contracts for a number of markets with specific contract conditions, including Poland (welding, mechanics and food processing, with a fee of US$3,000), Lithuania (welding and apparel, with a fee of US$1,000-1,500), Hungary (agriculture and industry, with a fee of US$1,650), Bulgaria (mechanics, wood processing and industrial apparel, with a fee of US$1,000), Cyprus (agriculture, with a fee of US$1,700), Turkey (apparel, with a fee of US$1,300), Slovakia (electronics, with a fee of US$4,000), Belarus (construction, welding and carpentry, with a fee of US$3,500), and Portugal (agriculture, with a fee of US$2,000). These markets offer monthly salaries of EUR360-580.

According to Tong Hai Nam, it will be difficult to set a foothold in the European market, as both workers and enterprises must comply with a lot of conditions, procedures and processes. This is one of the challenges for the work of sending Vietnamese migrant workers abroad in 2020.

Regarding the management of labour export companies, Nam said that, currently, many Vietnamese labour sending units are proactively seeking and exploiting contracts and developing the foreign labour market, in addition to putting well-organised investments in creating labour sources, including training skills, foreign languages and necessary knowledge for workers before their departure to work overseas.

In 2019, the Department of Overseas Labour Administration received applications for the renewal of licenses from 112 businesses and has now completed the dossiers of 63 companies and submitted them to MOLISA. At present, there are a total of 421 Vietnamese labour enterprises licensed to perform the service of sending workers abroad.

In addition to increasing of the number of labour units eligible to send workers overseas, MOLISA has strengthened the supervision of the operational quality of businesses. The Department of Overseas Labour Administration directly conducted 25 periodical and sudden inspections, while working with the ministry’s inspectorate to carry out 30 inspections of the companies sending workers abroad under contracts.

Through the inspections, the department issued or proposed the authorised agencies to issue sanctions against 21 enterprises and revoked the licenses of two others, with a total fine of about VND1.5 billion (US$64,940).

The Department of Overseas Labour Administration has determined that the eligible enterprises will be granted permits but those with violations will be strictly handled to ensure the quality of sending Vietnamese workers abroad.

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