On August 26th, our partners has the opportunity to meet Delphine Rousselet, Executive Director of the EuroCham Vietnam, introduced by Bart Verheyen, Chairman at BeluxCham and YIN Coordinator in Vietnam.
Employment issues represent the main challenges for the 15 Million Youth aged between 15 and 24 years old in Vietnam. The unemployment rate for Youth is currently increasing, reaching 7,47% when it is estimated at 2,62% for the global population. In addition, the quality and decency of the jobs must be taken into consideration. As an illustration, the OECD estimates that half of the Youth are poorly paid.
The Youth coming from excluded backgrounds are the most impacted by these challenges, when they are those to whom, having a job is crucial for their own survival, sometimes vital for their whole family. A decent job represents also the most powerful lever for sustainable inclusion and decent living conditions for the Youth and their relatives.
Excluded Youth in Vietnam
Exclusion can be associated with different factors including:
> Socio-economic factors and financial issues: this can prevent further inclusion at the Youth level due to associated lack of opportunities, access to studies and digital tools, in addition to other restrictions and consequences
> Family situation: Youth can suffer from family-related problems (victims of domestic abuses, forced to leave the family home), lack of support, or be parent-loss / not knowing relatives
SOS Children and REACH are for instance welcoming in their centers Youth who lost their parents or who encountered family issues during their childhood
> Regions and ethnicity: Youth coming from areas (especially rural) where economic situation, culture specificities and lack of facilities lead to exclusion (ex: different social codes). Youth coming from ethnic minorities are particularly suffering from exclusion
> Other: REACH is working with Youth issued from migration movements, victims of HID, human trafficking problems, ...
Youth can be financially responsible for the whole family
As mentioned by SOS Children’s Village, Youth must support themselves however they may be responsible for financially supporting family members, including being the only person in charge of bringing money for the whole household
Youth can present a lack of essential digital skills
As mentioned by Mekong Plus, 80% of high school Youth in its area of action do not have access to smartphones and internet connections; they don’t know how to use them.
The crisis increased inequalities and worsened living conditions of excluded Youth
> The economic crisis and lockdown resulted in the loss of jobs and essential financial resources for Youth and whole families, increasing poverty
> Access to medical care is unequal and some excluded communities are not allowed to/ cannot go to the hospital (Mekong Plus)
> Some Youth have lost their parents or parental care (SOS Children’s Village)
> Limited access to education due to closing of schools
Education and Necessary Implication of Organizations
To step out of exclusion and poverty, education is essential to provide the capabilities to the Youth to develop skills and find a decent job.
However, as observed by Mekong Plus, among its beneficiaries 25% to 30% of Youth do not complete High School or drop out before College.
Drop out as perceived by LP4Y, is due to different factors including family support, financial situation and/or local facilities.
Drop-out percentage is expected to increase given Covid impact on education: due to the impossibility to join classrooms in addition to unequal access to technology, many Youth cannot attend school and may decide to leave the educational system.
Youth in this situation, are more likely to develop dangerous or addictive behaviors, increasing their exclusion.
For these excluded Youth, the action of organizations providing vocational trainings or helping them develop professional skills is essential and the current circumstances will increase their decisive role in the lives of the Youth.
Importance of Corporates’ Collaboration and Commitment
Organizations such as the YIN partners allow Youth to develop their skills, professional attitude, and professional pathway. However, collaboration with corporates is essential to support organizations in their actions and to strengthen the capability of Youth to step out of poverty.
Determining the professional orientation
> The Youth present a very limited exposure to the professional world: they have a restricted vision of options, received ideas about tasks and professional environments.
> Professional testimonies, company visits and professional experiences from companies are essential for the Youth to understand their professional goals and build the strongest motivation to succeed despite challenges.
Bart shared the story of one Youth from LP4Y who was hesitating between pharmacist and barista. After an internship of 2 weeks at Medicare, she could understand that being a pharmacist was not the right opportunity for her and is now a successful barista.
Supporting the right skills development
> Hard & Soft skills: Companies are of high value when training the Youth about specific skills in order for the Youth to know the corporate vision behind the theory and to benefit from real professional examples
> Connection with corporates is mandatory in order to identify the current necessary skills and evolution of requisites on the job market (ex: impact of the crisis on skills): information sharing will help design trainings making Youth matching market requirements, tendencies and needs
REACH is reevaluating each year its programs with the corporate partners to be sure to have Youth matching market expectations.
Understanding Youth and mentoring on professional attitude
> The companies can play a key role in mentoring the Youth and showing them what is the professional world, the correct behavior or work attitude (Youth come from a different background, with different social codes)
> Companies can act through training, testimonies, integration of Youth in their teams
> Companies sensitized and ready to take time to mentor and train the Youth will definitely represent the actors who will lead the change and allow the Youth to integrate into the professional world in a long-term perspective
Supporting Youth after organization programs
> One challenge for the organizations is to help Youth after program graduation and to facilitate the transition between training and work, job search
> Having companies connected to the Youth, sharing professional opportunities matching Youth profiles, being open to more diversity inside teams and facilitating integration is really important
> Companies can also participate in job search success by training the Youth to interviews and on application topics
Exclusion can be the result of several factors and the current sanitary crisis is amplifying the phenomenon.
In the short term, the economic circumstances will limit the professional opportunities offered to the Youth and many of them will continue losing their jobs.
The current unequal access to schools (switch to digital and limited access to smartphones or internet for excluded Youth) and expected increasing drop out will prevent additional Youth from finding a decent job and improving living conditions, maintaining their exclusion from the society.
Organizations providing technical or professional trainings are essentials in order for these Youth to develop skills and increase their chances to find a decent job.
If they can provide trainings and prepare the Youth for the professional world, they need corporate support in order to support Youth integration on the job market.