Vietnamese worker (above, right) with local colleagues at a construction site in Angola. Photo courtesy of Tuoi Tre
Vietnamese labor exporters have gained permits to send workers to Angola, opening a new market for local job seekers.
Hoang Long International Human Resources Supplying & Trading Company in Hanoi last month sent 20 construction workers to the southern African market, following 40 others in January, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported.
Hoang Long is one of the four companies, all based in Hanoi, to have received permits from labor authorities to send workers to Angola. The country has received large foreign investments, especially from China, in recent years and has potentially high demand for guest workers.
The permits, which came after a five-year review of the market by the labor ministry, are expected to smooth out the Angola dream for thousands of Vietnamese workers.
A report from Vietnam’s embassy in Angola last May showed that some 40,000 Vietnamese were already working there in short, unofficial contracts.
Due to their illegal working status, most of them had to switch jobs often and received no assistance or protection from local authorities in cases of illness or abuse.
Most of them were attracted by house repair jobs that paid $1,500-1,700 a month. They arrived on tourist visas, and a few managed to obtain working visas through illegal measures.
Duong Hong Bac, deputy general director of Hoang Long, said it has acquired the first order for 110 workers in construction-related jobs.
The workers would sign a three-year contract and their monthly wage, which is US$800 on average excluding extra hours payment, will be sent to their families in Vietnam. Their meals, accommodation and related expenses in Angola will be taken care of.
Apart of different weather conditions, Bac said working condition is “quite good,” adding that Angola is very in need of construction workers.
Initial surveys by the Department of Overseas Labor showed that Angola can receive 30,000-40,000 Vietnamese laborers.
The company still needs to recruit and train 70 other workers and expects larger orders to follow, Bac said.
The Overseas Labor Employment, Services and Construction JSC (Oleco) in Hanoi last month also sent its first 25 workers to Angola. They will undergo a two-month trial period before receiving a monthly payment of $800 for the first year and $1,000 for the next.
Nguyen Van Xuan, board chairman of Viet Thang International Development Corporation, said the company is struggling to fulfill an order for nearly 100 workers to Angola.
Xuan said the contract also demands design and construction engineers, which are hard to find.
The other licensed exporter is the Export Import And International Manpower Supply JSC.
Representatives from the four licensed companies claim that recruitment is hitting the wall. Many workers are discouraged after they heard about the poor treatment and living condition of those workers who had been sent to Angola by unauthorised or illegal agents, the companies said.
Bac said a number of workers decided not to go to Angola as they were afraid of being scammed.
“There’s too much information about labor frauds for Angola market, people are still scared.”
He said labor exporters and related authorities need provide workers with more accurate information about the issue.
Vietnam labor ministry plans to export 90,000 laborers this year, as saying that the overseas labor markets have warmed up.
The International Labor Organization has criticized Vietnam for failing to generate jobs for those who work overseas when they return home, which is one of the reasons for the high rate of workers who overstay their visas. That in turn has caused many overseas markets to shun Vietnamese laborers.
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