Training classes lacking students hinh anh 1Participants at a vocational training course in sewing machine skills in southern Binh Dinh Province.(Source: VNA)

As of August, only 15,000 of the 330,000 people eligible for unemployment allowances had enrolled in vocational training programmes, according to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.

The unemployed will receive a maximum monthly vocational training allowance of 1 million VND (nearly 45 USD) per person for six months total. The specific allowance levels depend on job types, tuition fees and the course duration as regulated by the Employment Law.

Support for the unemployed has not produced expected results because the number of individuals enrolled in vocational training programmes remains modest.

"Recently, the centres have received an average of 3,000 people registering as unemployed per week," said Vu Quang Thanh, Director of the Hanoi Employment Service Centre. "However, of those, only 100 people per week are enrolling in vocational training courses, accounting for about three percent."

He added that the number of people who registered for vocational training courses in recent years accounted for between two and three percent of the unemployed population, but on occasion it peaked at six percent.

Tran Xuan Hai, Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Employment Service Centre, said the vocational training courses have been underutilised.

"Over the past nine months, as many as 62,000 have received unemployment allowances, and of those, only 600 people have taken vocational training courses, accounting for less than one percent," Hai said.

Between 80 and 90 percent of people registering for unemployment allowances were unskilled workers. They faced numerous financial difficulties when they were laid off, so they hesitated to spend money on vocational training, Hai said.

"The centre has stepped up efforts to help the unemployed access information about various vocational training courses, but it has produced few results," Hai said.

Vocational training plays an important role in improving labourers' skills, especially when most of the unemployed are unskilled workers. However, vocational training policies for the unemployed still have limitations. For example, vocational training allowances for the unemployed only last six months, which is a short time to learn new skills or jobs, experts warned.

Le Thuy Mai is an unemployed citizen from Binh Dinh who registered for unemployed allowances at the Ho Chi Minh City Employment Service Centre but did not enroll in a job training course.

"I think that six months are not enough to learn new jobs," Mai said. "Moreover, there is no guarantee that I will be hired after finishing a job training course."

Bich Huyen from Hai Duong, who used to work as an accountant, said she could not afford to take courses on new accounting models because the tuition fees are much higher than the unemployment allowances she received.

Tran Xuan Hai, Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Employment Service Centre, said it is necessary to foster closer co-ordination between vocational training schools and enterprises so that trainees will have a better chance of finding jobs after finishing training courses.

Nguyen Toan, former director of HCM City-based Thu Duc College, said relevant authorised agencies should provide labour demand forecasts, as well as job consultancy, to help the unemployed find suitable jobs.

"More financial support should be provided to the unemployed because they meet many difficulties after being laid off, and the tuition fees are much higher than the unemployed allowances," Toan said. "In addition, vocational training schools should provide the unemployed with soft skill training courses."-VNA