Overseas demand for Vietnamese workers is rising, Dao Cong Hai, Deputy Director General of the Department of Overseas Labour told Hai Quan (Customs) Newspaper.

*Which markets have been looking for Vietnamese labour in the second half of 2014?

At the start of 2014, the Department of Overseas Labour launched a pilot programme to send nurses and nursing assistants to Germany and Japan.

This has helped to open a wider labour market for skilled Vietnamese workers in developed countries.

In addition, the labour market in the Middle East has also shown signs of recovery. In 2013, the Vietnamese workers who went to work in the region were modest, but there have been positive signs for construction workers and services in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

For countries in Africa and the Middle East, Vietnam has signed agreements at ministerial level with Angola and Saudi Arabia to ensure safety for Vietnamese workers. More recently, the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs sent 50 workers to Angola to work on a pilot project.

At present, Vietnam is in the process of negotiating labour agreements with Germany and Thailand. If these agreements are reached, they will provide opportunities for Vietnamese workers to work abroad. According to the plan, in the last quarter of 2014, labour agreements between Vietnam and Australia, Canada, Bahrain and others will be concluded.

In the first six months of 2014, more than 55,000 Vietnamese workers went to work abroad, accounting for 63.5 percent of the set target. The figure represents an increase of 141 percent compared to the same period last year.

*What are the main occupations of overseas Vietnamese workers?

They vary. For example, mechanical engineering, construction, domestic workers and agro-forestry-fisheries.

Generally speaking, their monthly salary is between 900-1,500 USD - depending on the market.

*In some countries, workers' salaries may be higher like Canada, Australia and the US. However, not many Vietnamese workers get to work there. In your opinion, what are the main obstacles?

In most cases it's due to visas. The applicants and Vietnamese labour export enterprises have to pay various fees for work permits and deposits. In some cases, guest workers are granted work permits, but they are not a hundred percent sure the immigration office will grant them visas.

In such cases, the enterprises will lose all the money they have paid to their counterparts during application process for work permits and other related fees. This is a hard decision for labour export enterprises.

Other requirements, which are also very demanding for Vietnamese workers, are the foreign languages and qualifications. People with these skills usually have jobs with high salaries in Vietnam. That's why quite a few enterprises have received demand from foreign counterparts, but they are unable to recruit people.-VNA