Vietnam expects to send more workers abroad this year

TN News

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The economic crisis hit Vietnam's labor exports hard last year, but the Overseas Labor Management Department says 2013 will open up more opportunities for Vietnamese people to work abroad.

Last year 80,320 Vietnamese people worked abroad, sending home remittances of US$1.7-2 billion, but the number of workers sent abroad was 10 percent less than the government's target.

The country plans to send 100,000 workers overseas every year through 2015.

Besides traditional markets like Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan, Vietnam will target new markets from now on, particularly those that are in need of skilled labor like Germany and Australia, said Le Van Thanh, deputy head of the department.

Germany has a pilot recruiting project for Vietnamese mechanical engineers at salaries of US$2,000 per month. Vietnam will also send nurses to work there later this year as agreed in talks with Germany's ministry of economics and labor.

Apart from Germany, Saudi Arabia and Finland have said they are interested in recruiting Vietnamese nurses.

According to foreign experts, many Vietnamese graduates can satisfy requirements to work abroad, but they need to improve their foreign language proficiency.

Vietnam's traditional labor markets will remain the key markets this year, experts say. 

Vietnam last year sent over 30,500 workers, mainly in manufacturing, garments, farming and furniture making, to Taiwan, the country's biggest market.

South Korea was Vietnam's second-largest labor export market with over 9,000 workers hired, although it has been imposing greater restrictions since nearly half of over 17,400 immigrant Vietnamese workers have overstayed their visas.

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The Overseas Labor Management Department has said Japan is short of 50,000 nurses and it "expects much" from Vietnam's labor force. Japan has also said recently it will need 400,000-600,000 nursing jobs through the next ten years and that it is targeting Vietnam as an important source.

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