A new decree will take effect on August 1 tightening rules on foreigners hired to work on Vietnamese government projects, according to the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs.
Among other things, the government's decree requires foreign businesses bidding for Vietnamese government contracts to give priority to qualified Vietnamese workers.
It says that if a project requires foreign professionals, the investor's bid must include a detailed plan on the foreigners to be employed. The plan must clarify the proposed positions and the number of foreign workers to be employed. The contractor must fully outline their qualifications and experience as well as the length of their contract in Vietnam.
All foreign bidders will be required to advertise each position on at least one central and one local newspaper or television channel for no less than 30 days prior to hiring, according to the decree posted on the government website.
Meanwhile, recruitment requirements and other relevant data will have to be submitted to the provincial people's committee.
The committees will be given 30 days to gather 500 qualified Vietnamese laborers (60 days for more than 500). If the local governments fail to do so, they must issue a decision permitting the contractor to begin recruiting foreign workers.
Under the new decree, foreign contractors will be required to apply for work permits before importing foreign workers and to submit reports to the provincial Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs about the recruitment and management of foreign workers every three months.
On July 5, Nguyen Dai Dong, director of the ministry's Employment Department, told the press that the number of foreigners working in Vietnam had reached more than 74,000.
The foreign workforce in Vietnam come from more than 60 countries"” 58 percent of them are Asians, followed by Europeans (28.5 percent) and others (13.5 percent).
Foreigners with advanced university qualifications make up 48 percent of the total foreign workforce. Those with advanced certificates and skills comprise 34.6 percent.
Eighty-six percent are aged 30 and above.
The Vietnam Investment Review (VIR) newspaper quoted the Employment Department's deputy director Le Quang Trung as saying that many provinces like Ninh Binh, Dak Nong and Lam Dong employ thousands of unlicensed foreign laborers, most of whom were unskilled migrants from southern China.
"The government's new decree is of great necessity," VIR quoted a Bidding Department representative from Vietnam Industry Construction Group's Song Hong Joint Stock Corporation. "Foreign workers are depriving local workers of many job opportunities."