- More than 80% of youth surveyed believed that they have the requisite skills needed to enter the working world but almost 90% of them are “anxious” about their ability to secure a job upon completing their education
- Similar to their peers in the region, most felt that Covid-19 is affecting the job-seeking process but remain optimistic
HO CHI MINH CITY – 15 July 2021 – To mark the United Nations’ World Youth Skills Day this year, Deutsche Post DHL Group (DPDHL Group), the world’s leading logistics provider has published key findings from an inaugural study on youth employability in Asia. The three-week online study saw close to 950 responses from young people above 15 years of age in the region, including nearly 480 from Vietnam. Young people from across six other countries – Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Thailand made up the rest of the respondents. This Vietnam study was done as part of DPDHL Group’s GoTeach program with the support of its partner SOS Children’s Villages.
Christoph Selig, Vice President, sustainability communications and programs, DPDHL Group said, “Job uncertainties and insecurities abound as most economies in the region continue to battle different waves of Covid-19 even as the pandemic starts to recede with the availability of vaccines. Whilst this inevitably impacts the hiring roadmap for businesses across multiple industries, it is heartening to see our youth recognizing the challenges ahead, but yet remain optimistic about their own aptitude and abilities to secure a job upon completing their education.”
The study found that almost 90% of Vietnamese youth who responded are either “anxious” or “very anxious” about their ability to find a job, with nearly 98% acknowledging that the Covid-19 pandemic is affecting the process of job hunting. Despite this, there is a sense of confidence as well as optimism among these youth in Asia: 88% of them believe they are ready to enter the job market, with 70% indicating that they expect to land a job in less than six months upon completing their education.
When evaluating an offer, the “opportunity to learn and be challenged” at a job came up top in factors to consider followed closely by “job security”, where nearly 20% of respondents in the region indicated as crucial. In Vietnam, most respondents agree with their counterparts in the region on wanting to learn and be challenged but they cited “salary” as the second most-considered factor. Unsurprisingly, circa 38% of the young surveyed (in Vietnam and across the region) regarded traditional methods such as internships to be useful in helping them land a job although recommendations from mentors and teachers are equally considered to be key enablers. Online job portals whilst prevalent are viewed as the least useful channel simply due to the lack of the personal connection afforded by working as an intern or a validation by a contact.
In Vietnam, over 250 youth felt that working as a healthcare professional such as a nurse or doctor is the most recession-proof occupation undoubtedly swayed by the critical roles that these front-liners have played since the global Covid-19 outbreak, whereas a job in the education or government sectors are in second and third place respectively. Interestingly, when asked what their preference as a first job will be, more than 50% of young people in Vietnam picked entrepreneurship – reflecting the same preferences as their peers in the region where over 20% of them selected this option. Overall, jobs related to entrepreneurship, education, and hospitality/ tourism sectors ranked among the top three preferred by young people in the region.
“Young people just entering the workforce have witnessed an unprecedented crisis that would have influenced their view of the working world,” commented Susanne Novotny, Corporate Partnership Manager at SOS Children’s Villages. “It’s therefore not surprising that most felt that the healthcare industry is somewhat recession-proof but equally, most young people might have preferred to start their own business to have better control over their own lives, careers and destiny. All in all, it’s encouraging to see the enterprising spirit of young people, strongly supported by GoTeach entrepreneurship training on how to start and run their own business.”
Essential skills for the working world
Beyond technical and vocational skills, almost 60% of respondents in Vietnam viewed interpersonal communications skills as key whilst 27% thought language skills to be pertinent in their ability to secure a job. Their peers in the region also cited these as the most important skills that will support them in their job-seeking journey.
Designated by the General Assembly in 2014, the World Youth Skills Day is an opportunity for young people, technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions, and public and private sector stakeholders to acknowledge and celebrate the importance of equipping young people with skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship. This year’s theme is “Skills for a resilient youth”.
An Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) initiative dating back to 2009, GoTeach seeks to improve the employability of young people, especially those from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds caused by social unrest, poverty and/or loss of family. In Vietnam, DPDHL Group recently marked its tenth-year anniversary for GoTeach in the country, and have pledged to continue partnering with SOS Children’s Villages, the largest non-governmental organization focused on supporting children without parental care and families at risk.
To date, volunteers from across DPDHL Group in over 60 countries have contributed their time and effort into working with young people under this program. In Asia Pacific, more than 600 DHL volunteers ran several initiatives in 2020, including mentoring, job skills training, resume writing, internships and youth camps, to benefit young people across the region.
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