Vietnamese Youth Facing Challenges in Multiple Fronts: OECD Report

December 6, 201712:45 pm1497 views

The future of a nation’s prosperity depends upon its greatest asset: youth. However, a new report released on November 22 suggested that the Vietnamese youth might be facing multiple challenges in various aspects, including employment, education, as well as reproductive and sexual healthcare.

Entitled as “Youth Well-being Policy Review in Vietnam”, the report analysis used an innovative multi-dimensional approach to observe the causes of youth’s vulnerability and the factors that support successful transition in a country. It also provided evidence-based policy recommendations to assist policymakers, youth organisation, and other stakeholders in setting up design to support policies towards vulnerable youth, in a bid to take advantage of the “golden population structure” in the country.

The youth is appreciated for their role and position in Vietnam, as they hold important source for the country. Vietnamese youth are currently defined as those aged between 16 and 30. Making up about 25.7 percent of the population, they are a great social force that contribute significantly to the foundation of national construction and defense.

Vietnam has always been working in issuing copious to educate, nurture, and promote its youthful population. Over the years, the country pays attention to young people’s role and involvement in the development and implementation of policies related to youth. Their position goes beyond more than just being beneficiaries, but also advisors for government agencies to consult in developing the country.

The problem lies in the fact that the number of young people dropping out of school remains high. Such condition leaves them with lack of both knowledge and skills, as well as unprepared for work and life in the future. Additionally, the continuous issue of sexual and reproductive healthcare has not been adequately addressed for young people too, Vietnam News reports.

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Owing to these reasons, measuring and analysing the problems of disadvantaged youth is a necessity for developing countries. Both developed and developing countries need to share experience and exchange information on achievements or current issues in policy implementation.

Vietnam has tremendous potential for further development with its young population. Due to healthier and better educated than their parents, Vietnamese youth can benefit more from positive economic prospects. According to the report, the share of tertiary educated youths aged 25-29 is increasing and 70 percent have highly-skilled jobs. However, this number only represents a small share of the youth population (8 percent aged 25-29 have a tertiary degree). This means that majority of young Vietnamese are disadvantaged (low-skilled and early school leavers) and live in rural areas.

Furthermore, the report also noted that nearly half of employed youth are working in jobs that do not match their qualifications. Overwhelming 85 percent young labour force works in the informal sector without specific qualification from vocational training or higher education. Only 31 percent aged 25-29 have obtained an upper secondary degree or above. Meanwhile, rural youth, who makes up 70 percent of overall youth population, also face additional challenges, such as access to vocational training and decent jobs. Adolescent pregnancies among ethnic minority, rural, undereducated and poor girls are three to four times higher than the national average.

The report also mentioned about the urgent need to invest more in human capital development. It highlighted the importance of improving the quality, accessibility, and relevance of vocational education and training to narrow the skill gaps in rural and remote areas in Vietnam. This will require further training for teachers, modern equipment and facilities, and improved evaluation of the programme’s impacts. There should be better links between educational institutions and local enterprises to help young talents understand the labour market needs.

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