Youngsters optimistic about Vietnam’s outlook over next 15 years hinh anh 1Start-up contests has been a draw to Vietnamese youngsters (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Some 72 percent of 1,200 Vietnamese youngsters and adolescents said they believe that in the next 15 years things will get better than they were before 2019, while 37 percent said they plan to run their own business, according to a report released recently by the British Council.

According to the Next Generation Vietnam report, the majority of youngsters are confident that Vietnam is working hard to improve the living conditions of all its citizens.

They expressed optimism about education and employment opportunities in the future, while hoping for more practical training programmes, Hoang Van Anh, Director for Education and Society at the British Council Vietnam told a dialogue on the enhancement of the role and engagement of youngsters regarding development issues recently held in Hanoi.

37 percent of young Vietnamese want to run their own business

Anh said the project is the first comprehensive survey by the British Council on the attitudes of youngsters towards matters directly relating to them. The report aims to help youngsters in countries that are experiencing important socio-economic changes to raise their voice.

The report showed that an entrepreneurial spirit thrives in Vietnam. Nearly four in ten (37 percent) respondents to the survey behind the report plan to eventually start their own business, regardless of their socio-economic background. During interviews and focus group discussions (FGDs), respondents lauded entrepreneurship as offering an authority and freedom unmatched by working for others. 

Education, too, is improving. More than three-quarters of respondents (77 percent) across the country feel that schooling has improved since the previous generation. Two in three young people (68 percent), however, also believe that people their age have difficulties finding jobs in their chosen field. This gap underscores the need to continue retooling school curricula to meet 21st-century demands, through teaching skills such as creative communication, critical thinking, and time management.

At the same time, Vietnam opening up to the world has led to dramatic societal changes felt by the new generation. Their lives are intensely digitised, interwoven with internet access and social media, the latter of which plays a crucial role in defining identity for around one-third of respondents. With more information and global exchange, social values are shifting. Evidence from discussion groups showed that young Vietnamese take great pride in improved gender equality in the country and feel excited that society is becoming increasingly modernised and open-minded. Four in ten (39 percent) respondents rank gender equality among their top five priority issues.

At the dialogue, Professor Dang Hai Anh, a senior economist with the World Bank, said that in the next 10 to 15 years, Vietnam will see its “golden population” period end and will enter a period of population aging, which means working people will bear more burdens. Policies relating to young people, he said, will be a significant matter over the course of the next 10-15 years.

“Nearly 40 percent of youth want to run their own business, which is very much different to the older generation, revealing a strong startup spirit among youngsters,” Anh said.

He cited the experience of other countries in underlining the need for Vietnam to enhance the role and involvement of youngsters in developing issues and equipping them with modern skills such as self-study, English, computer skills, and group working.

It is necessary to encourage and create favourable conditions for young people to make more contributions to the building of e-government, such as supervising activities relating to youth and providing regular feedback, he added.

Limited connections

Nguyen Thien Tu, Director of the Centre for Vietnam Youth Talent, Science and Technology (CYTAST) under the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union’s Central Committee, said that in order to promote the role of youth, the committee has organised movements to create the environment for them to show their talent, including IT contests, startup competitions, and awards.

According to Tu, CYTAST is keeping data on 5,000 young Vietnamese talent. Connection activities, however, remain a weakness of the centre due to a number of issues, including the poor engagement of enterprises and organisations.

Measures to discover, support, promote, and use talent have shown modest efficiency and stability, he said.

Topics discussed at the dialogue were practical, he said, and included suggestions on assisting and optimising young Vietnamese talent as well as policies to encourage their involvement in social issues.

Activities within the framework of the dialogue on the Next Generation Vietnam report from the British Council and the Science-Technology Development Programme of the Global Vietnamese Young Scholars Association will take place in the two first months of 2021, with the engagement of prestigious speakers, representatives from universities and schools in Hanoi, and a large number of youngsters./.