It's not the fault of the Ministry of Education and Training in the high number of university graduates being unable to find a job recently, according to a local education expert.
Tran Phuong, Former Deputy PM and Rector of the Hanoi University of Business and Technology told a conference in Hanoi on December 22 that the public tended to blame the ministry for the unemployment of over 200,000 university graduates and this was not fair.
"The ministry should not be held responsibility for the situation," Phuong said at the conference which discussed problems and solutions to develop non-public universities in Vietnam.
"We are now following the market mechanism so the supply and demand can’t be balanced like they were during the centralised administrative mechanism," Phuong explained.
He also pointed out shortcomings in the way students are choosing their degrees, which he said was the most important factor affecting the situation.
"Many students decide a major of study just because they like it, not caring about the demand of the labour market for that field," he noted. "Graduates are also trying to seek jobs in big cities."
“It is true that we provide more than the market needs in some fields, for example in teachers training, and we need to adjust. But we must find out the reasons why we have few graduates in engineering and technologies,” he said.
“I think that the first and most important thing we should do now is to pay more attention to job advice for young people," he stressed. "Agencies and ministries should work together on job market research to provide enough information for young people so that they can have their best choice of future jobs."
Phuong also said that Vietnam apparently could not avoid the issues that affected other countries when they went through the industrialisation process.
According to a labour report, Vietnam had 1,117,700 unemployed people in the third quarter of 2016, an increase of 29,000 compared to the second quarter. Those aged 15-24 account for 7.86% of the unemployment rate, but this is four times higher in urban areas than rural areas.
The number of unemployed university graduates is highest in those with qualifications, with 202,300 out of 456,100 people.