The Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) will strive to generate jobs for 1.6 million people and reduce the poverty rate by 2 percent in 2012.

These are two basic targets in 2012 set out by the ministry at a conference held in Hanoi on Jan. 9.

Speaking at the conference, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan said that despite numerous difficulties in 2011, the labour, invalids and social affairs sector made important contributions to national development, especially in social security, vocational training, poverty reduction and care for people who had rendered service to the country.

The sector generated jobs for more than 1.5 million people in 2011, including 88,000 guest workers, an increase of 2.9 percent from 2010, he said.

It also recorded positive results in protecting and caring for children, implementing gender equality and fighting social problems as well as in international cooperation, he added.

However, the Deputy PM noted that the sector should focus more discussions on strike issues and put forward solutions from the beginning of this year.

The sector needs to supervise labour recruitment, licensing and renewal of work permits and strengthen the management of foreign workers in Vietnam in accordance with Vietnamese law, while at the same time promoting job creation factors in combination with poverty reduction, he said.

Nhan urged MoLISA to continue speeding up the drafting of laws, firstly the Labour Code (revised), the Law on Trade Union (revised) and the ordinance on preferential treatment to revolutionary contributors.

He suggested that localities promptly create plans for socio-economic and human resource development with the involvement of businesses.

Job placement, vocational training centres and national funds in charge of job generation should join in forecasting labour supply and demand, he said.

The Deputy PM also asked MoLISA to assess the situation of foreign workers in Vietnam in the second quarter of this year, and families of policy beneficiaries and Agent Orange victims in February./.