Project Enables Youth Empowerment and Employment Post-Covid in Vietnam

The youth employment crisis in Vietnam continues to be a growing concern amidst the current Covid-19 pandemic. Followed by a global economic recession, unemployment issue is feared to hit vulnerable groups the hardest, which include groups of young people, especially girls.

0
181
this partnership as a bridge to ease the vulnerable youth’s, especially girls’ access to employment, despite the ongoing pandemic. This is another opportunity for employers to come together and enable the job market for youth employment, especially girls and the vulnerable ones to emerge stronger from the crisis.
The Bridges to the Future project is a bridge to ease the vulnerable youth’s, especially girls’ access to employment, despite the pandemic. This is another opportunity for employers to come together and enable the job market for youth employment, especially girls and the vulnerable ones to emerge stronger from the crisis.

The Hanoi Industrial Vocational College (HNIVC) and Plan International Vietnam on December 21 have co-hosted the closing ceremony of the Bridges to the Future project funded by Google.org, Google’s philanthropic arm.

The project was implemented from October 2020 to December 2022 to provide a market-driven vocational and job-matching solution in order to reduce the youth unemployment crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Under the Bridges to the Future project, over 1,200 young people (63% of them female) were supported and trained in vocational skills, soft skills, and gender equality knowledge and given a referral to job opportunities tailored to needs in the post-Covid era; as many as 5,257 young people were provided soft skills courses and job connections.

Moreover, three pilot modules on the e-learning platform Yes!Academy; eight job matching events; training courses on gender sensitivity in teaching for 298 teachers have been organized.

Pham Thi Huong, HNIVC rector, emphasized: “So far, the ratio of male students of the HNIVC is quite high, stemming from negative gender norms often assume that majors in industry, mechanics, electronics are not for women. As a female leader of this school, I think this needs to change, practical actions need to be taken to increase vocational training opportunities for both young women to study and develop in HNIVC. And this project is a great opportunity, as a lever to help me and HNIVC realize this desire.”

On behalf of the students benefiting from the project, Bich, a short-term student of the beauty care training courses, shared that short-term classes have equipped them with professional knowledge and soft-skills enhancement. “We thereby gain more confidence, having better choices in the job search process, and having a job with stable income.”

Negative gender norms combined with a lack of education, confidence, or skills place young women among the most economically excluded.
Negative gender norms combined with a lack of education, confidence, or skills place young women among the most economically excluded.

Le Quynh Lan, representative from Plan International Vietnam, said that the project is in line with Plan’s consistent efforts in youth economic empowerment activities in the past years and in the coming time. The confidence of young people in the process of finding decent job opportunities is the result of the cooperation between Plan and HNIVC in this project, she stressed.

“The positive results from this project will continue to be consolidated and replicated. We are committed to continuing to listen to youth and our partners to bring positive change to the lives of young people through our sustainable and targeted career and training program, responding to the rapid changes of the labor market in the post-Covid-19 pandemic,” Lan highlighted.

Google.org’s Asia Pacific Lead, Marija Ralic, hailed the partnership between HNIVC and Plan International, stressing that they have always been dedicated, flexible in work and timely made the necessary adjustments to ensure that social distancing measures do not disrupt the project implementation.

To date, the project has exceeded all of Google.org’s expectations in making a positive impact on young people’s lives. Ralic also expressed hope that “the results that have been achieved will be a premise to continue to create more opportunities for young people in the future.”

Many students of the beauty care courses have found financially stable jobs.
Many students of the beauty care courses have found financially stable jobs.

According to the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, in 2021, around 18 million people working in the informal sector were the hardest hit by the pandemic, with 60% of these being classed as youth, which are of the 15-24-year-old age range. About 250,000 workers have lost their jobs, and another two million temporarily stopped working because of Covid-19 in Vietnam.

In Hanoi, applications for unemployment benefits have increased by 12.6% during the period. Women are principally found in lower-paid sectors and make up 44% of workers in most at-risk sectors in the formal economy, such as hospitality and tourism.

Hannah Nguyen