On 24th August, 2016, EuroCham met with the Department of Labor, Invalid and Social Affair (DOLISA) at EuroCham office in Ho Chi Minh City. EuroCham was represented by its Vice Chairman, Mr. Vo Quang Hue, accompanied by Executive Director Ms. Almut Roessner and Advocacy Manager Ms. Le Thanh Binh.
The purpose of the meeting was to exchange information on the current situation of the labour force, focusing on the perspective of EuroCham’s company members. The meeting approached questions related to employment and training demands, as well as the difficulties of European enterprises in contributing to improving the quality of the local manpower.
The DOLISA representatives presented themselves as open to listen to ideas and recommendations of the European community on the local labour force, also stating that DOLISA intends to assist in the improvement of relevant policies and working conditions in Ho Chi Minh City and nearby provinces. The meeting was initiated and facilitated by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).
Mr. Vo Quang Hue raised a number of issues to DOLISA regarding human resources development and training, as well as driving quality standards and working conditions. Mr. Vo also addressed the pending issues already raised in EuroCham’s annual publication, the Whitebook 2016. The latter referred to overtime work and work permit issuance for foreign workers in Vietnam. The main message was the request to DOLISA to support in following these issues to the Government in upcoming meetings.
It was also concluded that EuroCham needs to work further with DOLISA in order to establish an annual survey which can point out recruitment and training demands.
The following section of the meeting was dedicated to the feedback of EuroCham Sector Committees regarding on labour-related matters, raised by Ms. Almut Roessner. The latter mentioned concerns of the Transport and Logistics Sector Committee, focusing on the skillset discrepancy across professional levels stemming from education. Ms. Roessner shared with the DOLISA representatives that a result of that fact is that EuroCham members in that industry tend to hire foreign workers for top management positions. The Executive Director added that attracting foreign workers to Vietnam also presents difficulties, recalling also the opinion shared recently by EuroCham members based in the Central provinces. In this vein, EuroCham recommended that DOLISA and VCCI should facilitate cooperation between universities, vocational schools and companies, in order to train and equip students with the skillsets in demand in the labour market. Such cooperation would also help students understand and familiarize with the real working environment.
Following the above, Executive Board Member Mr. Vo Quang Hue took the floor to present labour issues raised by the Mobility Sector Committee, reiterating the importance of vocational training through the cooperation between university or vocational schools and the companies. Mr. Vo mentioned examples from Europe, highlighting the German vocational training model and literature as a good examples for Vietnam.
Ms. Bui Thi Ninh, representing VCCI, agreed with EuroCham on the necessity of vocational training and proceeded to illustrate that it is possible to implement more consistent approached to develop it. To this end, Ms. Bui shared a recent VCCI cooperation with the Dong Nai province for an experimental programme setting career orientation tools for pupils and students, with the participation of the parents supporting their children in future job orientation. VCCI encouraged DOLISA and EuroCham to support in calling for participants from both European and Vietnamese enterprises to participate in this programme.
DOLISA and EuroCham agreed that the two organizations should exchange information on the labour market and its demand. DOLISA is also ready to support EuroCham and its members with accepting their inputs for policies and regulations. For instance, regarding the work permit, the Government has placed efforts in regulating and facilitating foreign workers to work in Vietnam, with the Decree 11/2016/ND-CP. DOLISA manifested its appreciation for the fact that most European companies comply with labour regulations. In addition, the positions of both organisations matched regarding overtime and flexible working hours for specific technical sectors, such as IT and technologies. It was seen by EuroCham and DOLISA that this can contribute to make Ho Chi Minh City a more dynamic international working environment.
DOLISA, EuroCham and VCCI expressed their strong will to cooperate more closely in the organisation events on HT and skill development topics. DOLISA also proposed to the other parties to hold more regular meetings, in order to exchange information and learn more about the labour-related challenges faced European companies and EuroCham members in Vietnam.