Labour market in Vietnam:Opportunities and Challenges1.IntroductionVietnam has become one of the potential countries in Asia to attract a great variety of investors from Japan, Korea, China, etc. thanks to the rapid development of the industrialisation. Moreover, Viet Nam’s active business environment, young population, growing wealth, changing consumer attitudes, greater mobility and urbanisation are pushing Viet Nam through a period of great change (the World Bank’s Doing Business 2017 Report). In particular, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of Viet Nam, asserted that Viet Nam continued to drive the global economic integration agenda and expected to maintain annual average GDP growth rate of 6.5% to 7% over the period of 2016 – 2020. However, the labour market in Vietnam has significantly changed in recent years, especially in the unemployment rate. According to VOV news, a popular online news in Vietnam, Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Welfare mentioned that in 2016, the rate of unemployment increased rapidly in many fields and youngsters, who have bachelor’s degree, made up the highest proportion in that group (more than 500.000 people). That status is getting worse till now whereas many companies have needed a huge workforce. Therefore, the labour market in Vietnam contains various opportunities but it still faces serious challenges.II. Opportunities in labour market2.1: The increase in foreign investment Viet Nam has achieved a noticeable shift in economy in recent years. The inflation fell quickly from a peak of 28.24 % in August of 2008 to 2.6% in December of 2017 and slightly changed in the previous month (Vietnam Inflation rate, Trading Economics). In addition, after joining the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 2007, Viet Nam has boosted to become an open economy and opened a wide door for the Southeast Asia countries. Therefore, Viet Nam is one of the most attractive destinations for foreign investors in South East Asia, especially Korea (29%), Japan (11%) and Singapore (10%). Comparing to the past, about a century ago, Viet Nam attracted few foreign investors and the amount of money invested was not huge. For instance, in 2007, Vietnam obtained the foreign investment capital of US$11.26 billion with 99 projects. On the other hand, many great opportunities of FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) have come to Vietnam these days. Vietnam is considered “a key investment location” with such great advantages as the rapid growth of population and potential resources which businesses cannot ignore (FDI Opportunities in 2017 for Vietnam, Unilaw). In 2016, this country experienced a breakthrough and reached a very high level of investment. FDI rose to nearly US $24.4 billion, pointing to a nine percent growth, as opposed to 2015. During that period, 2,556 registered projects, 1,225 existing projects and 2,547 companies of foreign investors supported the development of Vietnam’s economy. Moreover, there have been an increasing number of investors coming from more than 95 countries in the world. As a result, the increase in foreign investment has led to a huge chance for the workforce in Vietnam. More and more companies will be established and expanded, more and more employees will be recruited.2.2. Job market in diversified occupationsVietnam has known as a agricultural country which means that the agriculture has been the main economic base in this country (Wikipedia) . Thanks to it, the economy and the living standard of Vietnamese could remain quite stable in the past. Additionally, the transition of economy in Vietnam with noticeable achievement via Doi Moi, an economic renovation and the appearance of the globalization have led to broaden the development of economy. In recent decades, this developing country has tended to enlarge the industrialised process as well. Consequently, labour market in Vietnam not only includes many manual jobs in the agricultural field such as farmers, workers,…etc. but also contains a massive quantity of mental jobs requiring competitive employees with different levels of wage. For example, one of the most promising job fields nowadays is Information Technology, which accounted for a vast number of employees in 2017. IT field needs such a strong workforce that the IT recruitment has increased 20 times in 2017, comparing to 2016 (twquota36, Doanh nhan Viet Nam). Moreover, occupations in economic field such as accounting, banking, business administration, advertising and PR or restaurant management are extremely large since there is a high demand of the recruitment ( VietnamWorks). Almost those jobs require the employee’s knowledge and the level of salary which they are paid depend on their own experience and qualification. That will definitely make wonderful opportunities for people who want to find a job. Therefore, standing in that situation, people have many different choices to look for a job that it is suitable for their skill and their strength. On the other hand, job market in Vietnam also has great chances for people who do not have high degree of their knowledge. Being employees in big companies is another good choice for job seekers. For instance, SamSung, one of the big groups focusing on electronic devices, established two companies in Vietnam and hired a giant workforce in 2015 with 84.000 Vietnamese workers (Atsushi Tomiyama, Asian Nikkei) which just demand simple conditions such as graduating from high school, career standard and so on. In addition, many textile companies, these days, invest a huge amount of money in Vietnam including foreign companies and Vietnamese companies such as May10, Oriental Vietnam Co.,Ltd., Kondo Textile, Gunze Vietnam,…etc which contains about 120 companies in Vietnamese market (Apparel and accessories in Vietnam, Vtown). In those companies, they do not require high experiences or high skills in employees recruited as well. In short, seeking a job in Vietnam, citizens will have a variety of selection to decide.III. Challenges in labor market3.1. Lack of skilled and qualified employeesAccording to the stastics of the Vietnamese Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, Viet Nam is considered that the country is one of the biggest beneficiaries from the AEC’s information. A lot of jobs will be supplied in 2025, comprising 9.5% of the total new employment options in ASEAN (Opportunities and Challenges Face Vietnamese Labourers in AC, Vietnam Pictiorial). Nevertheless, the employee’s quality is inadequate including soft skills or knowledge.Employees, especially graduates, are lack of essential soft skills. In Viet Nam News, the author claimed : “Enterprises had located in key economic areas of the South where the industry and supporting services are developing had raised concerns over the lack of soft skills of graduates despite the enhanced co-operation between universities and colleges and enterprises”. The reason of that problem is their education in school. It means that only 45% of schools contain soft skills in their studying programs which making up a tiny 3% of the total course (Chinh Phong, Vietnam workers lack soft skills). As a result, according to the research of the Hanoi Institute for Socio Economic Development Studies , in big cities which many companies and groups established, there are a vast number of unskilled workers such as 41.4% of the labor force in Ha Noi, 64 % in Hai Phong, 54.5% in Ho Chi Minh City and 62.9% in Vung Tau. They lack necessary skills such as team-buildings, communications, foreign languages, problems solving and computer skills. Rose Chu, director of the Human Resources Department of the G Fashion Viet Nam Company told that almost students nowadays are trained so much in the school but they still weaken soft skills so after graduating from schools, they were usually anxious and could not show their competence well (Graduates lack necessary soft skills for employment, Vietnam News). Moreover, because of the effect of globalization, being good at a foreign language such as English, Korean, Chinese or Japanese is an important factor to find a well-paid job, but it seems to be difficult to find employees who have language ability. For example, via a survey of Ha Noi Moi newspaper, it showed that the number of university graduates with their confidence of English skills comprise only 5 percent, whereas 27 percent considered their level of English was bad.(VietNamNet Bridge)3.2. The unemployment in young people (especially graduates)Viet Nam has been considered that it is a country standing out the large volume of the young population which is the gold key to develop the economy but that makes Viet Nam face the unemployment rate in youngsters, especially in people who graduate from universities or colleges. According to the research of the Institute of Labour Science and Social Affairs (ILSSA) written in Viet Nam News, the figure of unemployed graduates rose significantly in the second quarter of 2017, whereas that of unemployed people in the whole country tended to decrease marginally. A big number of students could not seek jobs when they finished all courses in the school with valuable certificates. 183,100 people in bachelor’s or master’s degrees is a noticeable number via the report of the ILSSA and the rate of unemployment and during that time, the number of unemployed Vietnameses in working-age was about 1.08 million in the second quarter, 20,000 fewer than in the prior quarter. Moreover, many reseachers in that field reported that the labour market in Vietnam in 2017 was added more than 200.000 bachelors who might not have a fixed job (VietNamnet). Additionally, the unemployment is not only caused by graduates but aslo is generated by other young people who are not satisfied with jobs which they are able to find easily such as waiters, shippers and so on. They prefer the career with high wages and wait for mental jobs. Therefore, the balance between a number of white-collar employees and blue-collar employees is not happened. The former attracts a huge quantity of young population while the latter is in the risk of an inadequate workforce. That boost the rate of unemployment in VietNam into a extreme serious problem.