The International Labor Organization (ILO) has warned that low-productive employment among Vietnam's young population is curbing the youth's potential and stunting national grown.
ILO said in a release Monday, also the International Youth Day, that the first national school-to-work transition survey shows that the quality of jobs available for young people aged between 15 and 29 is generally poor.
The preliminary findings of the survey, carried out by the General Statics Office and the ILO early this year, showed that poor quality employment affects more than half of young workers. Nearly eight in ten are in informal employment and half of them are in irregular employment, meaning own-account work or temporary contracts.
According to the survey, which looks at the passage of young people from the end of schooling to the first stable (with a work contract duration of more than 12 months) or satisfactory job, over education or the fact that a degree holder takes up work for which she or he is overqualified is the other side of the problem.
Three of every ten 15-to-29-year-olds are overeducated for their job, making them likely to earn less than they otherwise could have and fail to make the most of their productive potential.
The survey's data showed that youth remaining in transition have already spent on average six years struggling to find a stable or satisfactory job.
ILO Vietnam country director Gyorgy Sziraczki said young people in Vietnam need support to make their labor market transition smoother.
He emphasized the need to strengthen the link between education-training and export growth, intensify career guidance and job counseling, and boost labor market information.
The preliminary findings of the survey showed that the most popular job search method for young people is now through "asking friends, relatives and acquaintances".
"Unless Vietnam takes advantage of its huge young labor force that will soon pass its prime, it will have to pay long-term costs," said Sziraczki.
The Vietnam school-to-work transition survey was developed to characterize specific youth employment challenges and to support policy-makers in designing adequate instruments to help the transition of young people into employment.
Vietnam, which is one of the 28 target countries undertaking a similar poll, will undergo a second round of polling in 2014.
The survey was introduced as part of the global Work4Youth partnership between the ILO Youth Employment Programme and The MasterCard Foundation.