An increasing number of youths in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta are seeking job opportunities in Japan for a better future.
Local authorities have supported the trend by providing free Japanese lessons, loans with special interest rates, and visa fees for poor residents.
Instead of enrolling in college like others, Nguyen Thi Thuy Mai, 18, who lives in Ben Tre Province, decided to attend Japanese classes at an education center.
Mai is waiting for her chance to join a program to bring workers to Japan, despite her good grades in high school.
The young girl lives in a family of five, in which her parents have to work various seasonal jobs to provide for everyone.
“I have planned to seek an overseas job ever since I entered high school. I want to help my parents and siblings, and save some money for the future,” Mai stated.
She is among 210 youths who are taking free Japanese lessons at education and job centers throughout Ben Tre.
According to Le Thi Bong, a teacher at one of these facilities in Giong Tom District, 20 out of 60 learners of the Japanese language here are high school students.
More young people in Dong Thap Province are also following a similar trend.
Tran Thi Hong Dao, 18, is one of them, despite her high scores on a recent university entrance exam.
“I have nurtured an intention to work abroad after graduating from high school since I was in eleventh grade. It is more stable as I can earn some experience and secure a job at Japanese companies,” Dao said.
Over 100 high school graduates enrolled in Japanese classes at the Dong Thap Province Job Service Center in 2016, Nguyen Thi Minh Tuyet, director of the venue, said, adding that this year’s number has risen to 400.
After working in Japan for three years, Le Nhat Truong, 26, hailing from Tam Nong District, Dong Thap, has managed to save nearly VND1 billion (US$43,905).
Truong currently works as a Japanese teacher in Vietnam and plans to run a business.
“Laborers who have worked in Japan are always welcome at Japanese-owned companies in Vietnam. After completing your labor export program, someone will contact you to discuss a long-term job,” he elaborated.
Meanwhile, Son Hoang Xuan, 33, residing in Vinh Long Province, said he had been able to renovate his home, buy a good motorbike and other valuable items with the money he earned from his three-year employment in Japan.
After returning to Vietnam, Xuan was introduced to work at Japan’s Logitem Company in Binh Minh Industrial Park, Vinh Long.
In late 2014, authorities in Dong Thap re-started its labor export program by offering local labor forces a series of policies and advantages, including loans, free language lessons and job consultancy, financial support for health check-ups, and others.
Thanks to the efforts, Dong Thap has been the top labor supplier for businesses in Japan and South Korea in the past three years.
According to Nguyen Van Duong, chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, labor export has been one of the top priorities as it provides a stable income for locals, helps improve the province’s competitiveness and attracts more foreign investment.
More local laborers have been aware of the benefits and are willing to sign up for the program, said Tuyet, the director of the Dong Thap Province Job Service Center.