Country Manager of Adecco Vietnam and co-founder of the Vietnam Employment Agencies Federation, Nicola Connolly has been in Vietnam for 10 years and is highly respected within Vietnam’s HR community. When she’s not actively lobbying the government on positive changes in the country’s employment legislation, Nicola enjoys spending her time reading or watching her favourite TV shows. You can follow her on: twitter.com/nicolaconnolly33
In my 10 years living in Vietnam, I’ve been involved in numerous discussions on the workforce, how it has evolved and transformed to accommodate the country’s industrialisation. Occasionally the issues of gender equality arise. From the corner pho seller to the construction worker and powerful business leaders, women make up slightly more than half of the Vietnamese workforce. It is also interesting to note how they have tackled their career barriers over the years.
Although having a relatively low unemployment rate compared to other countries in Asia, Vietnam is facing a tough challenge with its younger workforce. By the end of 2014, 6.3 percent of youths between the ages of 15 to 24 were out of a job; which is even more alarming when 20.75 percent of fresh graduates (aged 20 to 24) are unable to find work.
In 2014, global unemployment broke the all-time record, with 201.8 million people without a job, and an unemployment rate of 6 percent, unchanged from 2012. It is estimated that there will be more than 215 million jobseekers by 2018. In the Asian region, the unemployment rate stood at 4.3 percent in 2014. Compared to others, Vietnam has the third lowest rate (2.08 percent), after Thailand (0.8 percent) and Singapore (1.90 percent), and followed by Malaysia (2.70 percent).
A relatively new sector in Vietnam introduced in the revised Labour Code in 2013, subleasing facilitates the assignment of an employee to a company in need of short-term help. Although this form of work is welcomed, there remain a number of shortcomings to be addressed, most notably in limiting private employment agencies from offering the full range of workforce solutions.
Set to begin in 2015, the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is expected to promote the development of Vietnam GDP growth to 14.7 percent by 2025 — creating millions of new jobs.