Unemployment rate among young people in Vietnam is more than three times higher than the adult rate, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) said in its recent report.

According to “The Global Employment Trends for Youth 2013” report launched in Geneva on May 8, nearly half of the unemployed in the country last year are between 15 and 24 of age.

“It is not easy to be young in the labour market today,” said ILO Viet Nam Director Gyorgy Sziraczki. “The economic crunch has unfortunately hard hit the most dynamic generation of workers.”

But youth unemployment is only the peak of the iceberg. Four million or over 53 percent of young people are in vulnerable employment. They are self-employed or work as contributing family workers, which are typically low-productivity jobs with meagre income, poor working conditions and lack of social protection.

The ongoing reform of the education and training system is key to tap the talent, energy and creativity of young women and men and support a dynamic development process.

“A national vocational and technical education system that promotes the employability of youth and meets the present and future needs of businesses is essential to productivity growth, increased competitiveness and job creation,” said Sziraczki.

“It is time to strengthen the link between education and training and export growth, economic diversification and creation of more and better jobs,” he stressed.

Unlocking the potential of small- and medium-sized enterprises through cutting red tape and providing finance and business support services is another way to promote productive job opportunities for young people.

According to Matthieu Cognac, ILO Asia-Pacific Youth Employment Specialist, attention should also be directed to rural areas where the majority of young people live and work.

“Employment counselling, entrepreneurship courses and business mentoring could help many young people to start and grow their own business,” he said.

According to the ILO Vietnam Director, Vietnam’s youth employment challenges cannot be tackled without promoting structural change to unleash growth, macroeconomic policies and fiscal incentives that support employment and stronger aggregate demand, improve access to finance and increase productive investment.

“Young people deserve a better start and equal treatment, otherwise Vietnam would lose huge contribution to its socio-economic development,” he said.

The report also shows that the world youth unemployment rate this year is projected to increase by 13 percent, closed to 73 million young people.-VNA