Vietnam tourism to grant labor cross-ASEAN work certificates

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Tourism workers certificated by the Vietnam Tourism Certification Board (VTCB) will be able to work in any of the ten nations in the ASEAN community.

The nine other countries are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, Thailand, and the Philippines.

The ministers of tourism from all member countries made a commitment four years ago that would allow tourism workers, from 2015, to work interchangeably among the countries if they are certificated by an officially-appointed certification organization of any among the ten.

For Vietnam, it is the VTCB. 

Hoang Thi Diep, deputy head of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, told news website Saigon Times that ASEAN member countries have built a set of agreed standards for tourism professionals.

There was already an agreed curriculum for tourism job training, she added.

The interchangeable work program was set to take effect in May 2015, providing a "better chance" for job seeking in the sector, Diep said.

However, she said it would also come with a challenge, and that local companies would have to compete with employers from other member countries to recruit skilled labor, while on the other hand, local workers may lose jobs to foreign ones with better qualifications.

"The tourism sector has to try its best in order to make full use of the chance brought by the agreement [of cross-country work permission] for a development."

According to the administration, the country's tourism sector provides 500,000 direct jobs and one million indirect ones.

It is expected that the number would increase by a quarter and by twofold by 2015 when the country is set to welcome 7-7.5 international visitors annually. 

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