Good foreign language skills bring more job opportunities: survey

VietNamNet Bridge - Candidates with good foreign language skills can find jobs with incomes 30-50 percent higher than those with no foreign language skills, according to Huynh Diep Tram Anh from the Van Hien University.

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Candidates with good English skills can find good jobs

The average pay businesses offer to workers with good English skills is VND10 million or higher.

Lack of foreign language skills, professional knowledge, and soft skills are the major complaints from employers.

Anh and co-workers conducted a survey by interviewing 152 human resources division heads and deputy heads at enterprises. The team had direct interviews with 82 enterprises’ representatives and 70 interviews through emailed questionnaires.

The interviewed businesses operate in many different fields, but especially in service, trade and education. Most of them said they prioritized recruiting workers who have finished university or junior college. 

The workers with foreign language capability accounted for one third of total workers, while 95 percent of businesses wanted to increase the number of workers with foreign language skills.

Asked about the employers’ satisfaction about foreign language skills, 12 businesses (7 percent) said ‘very good’, 32 businesses (21 percent) said ‘good’, 31.5 percent said fairly good, 26.3 percent said ‘average’ and 20 percent said ‘bad’.

The survey found that workers in business fields have varying levels of foreign language skills, which is explained by the specific requirements of the fields.

A survey of newly graduated workers found that only 5 percent of them have self-confidence in their English and 27 percent admitted their English is very poor.

A survey of newly graduated workers found that only 5 percent of them have self-confidence in their English and 27 percent admitted their English is very poor.

International institutions warned that bad foreign language skills will hinder Vietnamese workers from integrating more deeply into the global labor market. 

According to ILO, among ASEAN countries, Vietnamese workers’ English skills are worse than those in Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and Brunei. 

Nguoi Lao Dong quoted a human resource consultant as saying that foreign companies would prefer candidates with good foreign language skills, because they believe that ‘understand first, learn later’ is the way to produce qualified workers.

He said that in the context of global integration, foreign language skill is an important factor that employers consider when recruiting workers. Those who can speak 2-3 foreign languages will be preferable.

In principle, employers believe that workers who know at least two foreign languages have good critical thinking skills, which means high capability to adapt to new and unexpected circumstances.

The Ministry of Education and Training has offered a lot of English teaching programs. However, the improvement in skills remains very modest.


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