AEC opens the door for skilled migrant workers

Demand for Vietnamese migrant workers will most likely expand to over 90,000 in 2015 on the back of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) integration, according to the Department of Overseas Labour Management (DOLM).

February 10, 2015 by vovnews

(VOV) – Demand for Vietnamese migrant workers will most likely expand to over 90,000 in 2015 on the back of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) integration, according to the Department of Overseas Labour Management (DOLM).

The AEC will set in motion the creation of a single market encompassing a ten-nation bloc that includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The single market to come into effect by the end of 2015 will result in a freer flow of goods, services, investment and skilled labour among ASEAN member nations at remarkably lower tariffs, said Tong Hai Nam, deputy head of DOLM.

According to Nam, regional integration in particular will open the door to an improved job market for those with good foreign language competency in the country for which they choose to work.

A recent study found that ASEAN integration could overall lead to about a 60% increase in demand for high-skilled employment positions such as managers, professionals, technicians and associate professionals.

The study also reported medium-skilled employment could grow by around 25% with positions such as clerks, craft and related trade workers, plant and machine operators and assemblers, and service and sales workers.

Deputy Head Nam said that Vietnam started experiencing an increase in demand during 2014 for workers in Japan and Taiwan adding that over the past several years the state has devised a number of support policies for these markets and they have largely been successful.

Most notably workers language skills and work ethic have steadily improved he said. But he was quick to point out that not all of the problems have been overcome. We still have a few workers violating the rules and not returning home as scheduled.

Additionally, there are also many organisations and individuals who are not licensed to send workers abroad that are illegally collecting money from workers, Nam added.

According to DOLM statistics, last year, Vietnam sent 60,000 workers to Taiwan, the largest foreign market for migrant workers. This is a friendly and easy market for workers. It offers a quite high salary (around US$630 per month) and the law provides good protection for workers’ rights.

In late 2011, Taiwan adopted new economic development and employment policies, which have led to a steady rise in the demand for Vietnamese labourers ever since. The country has particularly favoured Vietnamese workers over their counterparts from countries like Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

The training programmes provided by the DOLM have specifically targeted improving the quality of workers sent to the market and our efforts have paid off, Nam said.

Japan also has a high demand for employing trainees. In the past trainees mainly worked in the engineering, electronics and garment industries. Now they work in all fields, ranging from construction, engineering, agriculture and food processing to garments.

In addition, the country plans to hire a large number of trainees in the construction sector in preparation for the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.

Nam said this year labour exports will principally focus on the traditional markets within the AEC.

As a result of integration, those who work in eight careers – accounting, architecture, dentistry, medicine, engineering, nursing, transportation and tourism can freely work in all ASEAN countries.

Especially workers who possess a university degree are in high demand. Language fluency, particularly those workers with good English can now easily find a job in the ASEAN region.

Ultimately, the success of ASEAN regional integration will depend on how it affects the labour market, and therefore on how it improves the quality of life of 600 million women and men in the region.