Editor's note: Pham Van Trung, a 28-year-old resident of Can Tho City in southern Vietnam, believes the core for Vietnam’s development in the future is to create sustainable jobs for young people, in his submission to the “Ky Vong Viet Nam 20 Nam Toi” (“My Expectations for Vietnam in 20 Years”) writing contest.
Creating stable jobs for youths is the core for Vietnam’s development in the future. I hope there will be fewer students and young people who fail to find a job in the next 20 years.
I am dreaming of the day when drinking establishments are empty as there are very few unemployed youths who visit them to get drunk, and when I will no longer have to worry that my children will be enticed by their jobless friends into social crime, a common concern for parents today.
Many consequences from unemployment
In the next 20 years, I hope Vietnamese students will land a job where they can use their trained skills after graduation. Particularly, the best students with excellent skills will be ‘hunted’ by companies even prior to graduation.
Other students will be able to find a job six months after graduation. If they are to take jobs they are not trained to do, they will still be able to make ends meet. No one will have to leave their qualifications untouched at home and go to work in the paddy fields, to the jeers of their neighbors.
I dream about these things because many students are currently unable to find a job and have to lead a hard life after spending a huge amount of time and money on education.
For instance, in my hometown, many are still unemployed after graduation from college and university.
Many parents in my hometown thus do not want their children to follow higher education after finishing high school because the money to pursue college (always more than VND100 million [US$4,614]) will be of more practical use if invested in the family economy.
In the next 20 years, I hope there will be only a few unemployed youths who have to ‘kill time’ at cafés or drink alcohol all day long. I dream of a day when young people are always busy in the morning: salaried men dress well before going to work; workers eagerly enter their factories; and builders leisurely walk to their construction sites.
And the places that the youth gather the most after work will be stadiums or cultural houses. Others will get together in smaller groups to talk business, life, marriage or help each other.
In late September 2014, the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs shocked the public by reporting that the unemployment rate in Vietnam was only 1.84 percent, which many said was inaccurate as it must have been much higher.
I do not know what the accurate data is, but I believe in one thing: many unemployed youths or those without a stable job are the direct or indirect cause of problems that are headaches for our society, such as theft, illegal motor racing, murder or rape.
Will an individual with a stable job and daily income ever steal something? Will young people who have to work hard to make ends meet ever have free time to drink all day and cause traffic accidents or go rape others when they are drunk?
Create more job opportunities
In my opinion, the core for Vietnam’s development in the future is to create sustainable jobs for youths, as this is the huge force of the population. If youths do not have stable jobs, how can they have money to afford houses or the best healthcare services, and to have their children enjoy the modern education system?
How could a generation of youths with unstable life and terrible physical health ever be able to protect the country?
I would like to give some suggestive solutions for helping every youth get a job to be able to improve their living standards.
- Universities, colleges and vocational schools must closely cooperate with relevant agencies that want to recruit employees to provide jobs for their students after graduation. Besides, high schools must focus on giving career orientation to students, helping them realize whether college or vocational school is more suitable for them.
- Conditions must be created to allow youths access to bank loans for business or production. I have seen many young people with ideas and desires but they fail to found a startup as their financial state does not permit it.
In rural areas, the strict requirements to access bank loans are preventing many young people from expanding their production.
For instance, if a jobless young man wants to buy a high-quality cow (which is worth VND20-25 million) but he is only allowed to borrow VND10 million, he will never be able to change his life.
- Effective business models should be built for the youth, depending on the conditions in their localities. For instance, young people in urban areas can join associations for mechanics or services, whereas those in rural regions can join agriculture cooperatives.
These business models not only help young people increase income but also allow those who have no job or land to have stable income and stabilize their life.
- The Youth Union must strengthen its role in helping youths to start a career. As far as I know, the Youth Union plays an important role in cooperating with relevant agencies to open vocational classes for the youth, or lend them money to do business. The Youth Union thus must be more creative in finding more ways to support youths. The most practical way, in my opinion, is to create job clubs at localities to connect the unemployed with employers.
“Ky Vong Viet Nam 20 Nam Toi” is a competition organized by the World Bank in Vietnam and Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that encourages local youths to write down their wildest, yet feasible, dreams about how Vietnam will change in 20 years’ time.