Labour export firms face stricter monitors

The Vietnam Labour Export Association has called on the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs to step up oversight and inspection of companies that hire and train workers for overseas jobs to sustain quality.

In recent times a number of Vietnamese workers have been abused by employers or quit jobs in Saudi Arabia and Malaysia because of poor training in professional skills, foreign customs and laws, and languages.

According to MoLISA's Overseas Labourers Management Department, guest workers must be trained for seven days (or 56 hours) in professional skills and the laws and culture of the country where they will work, and for one to three months in the language of that country.

"However, many companies have shortened training time while workers have refused to study foreign languages, cultures and laws claiming lack of education or they are too old to learn," Tin Tuc (News) newspaper quoted an association spokesperson as saying.

"Saudi Arabia and Malaysia do not ask for highly trained workers, and so the situation has become more serious."

A teacher shows his students how to run a machine at the Viet-Duc Vocational College in northern Vinh Phuc Province. MoLISA is called for tightening of inspections on companies hiring and training labourers for export. — VNA/VNS Photo Vu Sinh

Thus, the inability to cope with work pressure and limited communication ability means Vietnamese workers often face abuse or flee.

Taiwan has stopped accepting for 10 years Vietnamese workers as care givers for old people and fishing because many quit their jobs before the contract period ended.

An estimated 22,000 Vietnamese workers remain illegally in Taiwan.

Last month the Taiwanese authorities resumed issuance of licences for jobs that require intensive training in professional skills and foreign languages.

The department has decided to increase the training period for such workers to 20% more than for other jobs and markets. Now, to work in Taiwan, workers need 90 hours of professional training, 200 hours of Chinese classes and 100 hours of learning about culture.

"If Vietnam can improve training quality, the number of workers in Taiwan will increase sharply in the near future," Tong Hai Nam, deputy head of the department, said.

Some 60% of all Vietnamese guest workers work in Taiwan.

The industry wants the ministry and VLEA to work together to draw up training requirements for each market.

"MoLISA and VLEA should have severe penalties for those who do not follow regulations," Nguyen Thi Kim Thanh of Techsimex company said.

Minister of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs Pham Thi Hai Chuyen warned her ministry would severely punish companies that flout recruitment and training regulations.

"The Overseas Labourers Management Department will step up inspection of training and check the transparency of the fees workers have to pay before and after leaving Vietnam to work abroad," she said.

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