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Vietnam youth suffering high unemployment rate: ILO

Women work at a small size garment workshop on the outskirts of Hanoi on May 2. Photo: AFP 

The rate of unemployed Vietnamese aged between 15 and 24 was more than three times higher than that of their more mature counterparts in 2012, the International Labor Organization (ILO) said Wednesday.

The ILO's Vietnam office said in a press release that nearly half of the unemployed people in Vietnam last year were under the age of 25.

It warned that four million or over 53 percent of Vietnamese young people have obtained "vulnerable employment" in which they are self-employed or involved in the family business. ]

These types of employment are typically low-productivity jobs offering low income, poor working conditions and lack of social protection, the release said.    

"It is not easy to be young in the labor market today," said Gyorgy Sziraczki, director of the ILO Vietnam office.

"The economic crunch has unfortunately hard hit the most dynamic generation of workers," Sziraczki said.

Sziraczki said an education system that enhances the employability of the country's young people and satisfies the demands of businesses at present and in the future is essential for increasing productivity and competitiveness and creating jobs.

"It is time to strengthen the link between education and training and export growth, economic diversification and creation of more and better jobs."

He said the issue of youth unemployment in Vietnam can only be tackled by shifting macroeconomic policies in ways that create fiscal incentives that support employing young people.

"Young people deserve a better start and equal treatment, otherwise Vietnam would lose a huge contribution to its socio-economic development," he said.

A new report released by ILO in Switzerland Wednesday said global youth unemployment is set to reach nearly 13 percent or 73 million young people this year, and is not expected to go down before 2018.

José Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs, ILO Assistant General-Director for Policy, said millions of unemployed or underutilized young people are having their period of "youthful" dependency on parents and the state prolonged.

The ILO press release said that at the national level, measures such as providing young people with skills sought by employers and the same rights, working conditions and social protections as adult employees are necessary to improve the situation.

Improved access to credit for small and medium enterprises would enable them to employ more young workers, it added.

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