The number of Vietnamese guest workers sent to work abroad under contracts reached 59,645 (including 20,585 women) by the end of May 2023, achieving 54.2% of the plan for 2023 and over 1.9 times higher than the same period last year, according to the Department of Overseas Labour under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.
In particular, Japan was the leading market with 20,571 Vietnamese workers, followed by Taiwan (China) with 8,196 and the Republic of Korea (RoK) with 617 workers. Other markets receiving many workers from Vietnam included China, Singapore, and Hungary, etc.
Vietnamese workers' skills are checked before coming to the RoK for working.
In particular, the two major labour markets of Japan and the RoK have shown positive signs. The Japanese Government has been implementing policy improvements to provide highly skilled foreign workers with long-term residency and has expanded the list of occupations for the “Specified Skilled Worker Programme”’s category 2.
The decision to add 9 more occupational groups, including food processing and restaurants, in the list of occupations with non-fixed term of residence, for "specified skill" status, is expected to increase the number of skilled workers from Vietnam, by providing them with greater benefits and long-term residency. It is forecast that the total number of Vietnamese workers under the Technical Intern Training Programme and the Specified Skilled Worker Programme in Japan could reach up to 500,000.
Le Long Son, General Director of Esuhai Co., Ltd., one of Vietnam's leading enterprises sending workers to Japan, said the improvement of the Japanese Government's policy related to accepting foreign workers, especially in terms of connecting the technical intern programme with the specific skilled labour programme and extending the residence time for foreign workers, will open up great opportunities for this market in the near future. On the other hand, more than 350,000 Vietnamese trainees in Japa are now the first to benefit from the new policies.
The RoK is a high-income market and has many similarities in culture with Vietnam, so many Vietnamese workers have chosen to work in this country. As of June 1, there were 48,950 Vietnamese workers in the RoK, an increase of 9,300 people compared to the same period in 2022, with an average income of 1,500-2,000 USD per month.
During the official visit of the RoK’s President Yoon Suk-yeol and his spouse to Vietnam, the Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs of Vietnam Dao Ngoc Dung, and Minister of Employment and Labour of the RoK Lee Jung Sik signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) regarding the dispatch and reception of Vietnamese workers under the Employment Permit System (EPS) for foreign workers in the RoK on June 23.
As of June 19, Vietnam has sent 5,423 workers to the RoK. Under the EPS Programme, there have been more than 33.500 Vietnamese workers in the RoK and this figure is expected to be 10.000 by the end of 2023. Apparently, the EPS Programme has been conducted efficiently, fairly, objectively and transparently, resulting in the creation of high-paid jobs for Vietnamese workers, the development of Korean businesses, and cooperation between the two countries.
At a Q&A session in the 15th National Assembly’s fifth meeting last month, Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Dao Ngoc Dung said the sector will strengthen the recruitment and training of contract-based workers abroad as well as the inspection and examination of enterprises providing services for contract-based overseas employment to protect legitimate rights and interests of workers.
Simultaneously, interconnected databases will be built to manage workers going abroad and returning home and all cases of utilising and abusing policies related to this issue for to get private benefits and defrauding workers going to work abroad will be strictly handled.