Demand for Vietnamese guest workers outstrips supply

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Vietnam does not have enough workers to send abroad although the demand for Vietnamese guest workers in many markets is now high, a labor official said.

The country sent only 29,500 workers overseas in the first five months, accounting for 35 percent of the target for the whole year, said Overseas Labor Management Bureau deputy head Dao Cong Hai. The figure could have been higher if there were enough workers, he said.

Malaysia and Taiwan, for instance, wanted tens of thousand Vietnamese workers each in the five-month period but they only received 1,527 and 10,000 respectively, Hai said.

Local workers are no longer interested in these markets because of low salaries that range from VND3 million to VND6 million (US$160-320) per month, he said.

"Many people do not have the skills, but they only want to work in demanding markets like South Korea and Japan, where salaries are always higher than $1,000 a month," Hai said.

Although the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs has been targeting these large markets, it is difficult for most Vietnamese workers to meet professional and language skill requirements, he said.

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