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Stronger policies needed for youth development

Experts from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Vietnam and developed countries shared their experience in youth development policies at a conference in Hanoi on March 2.

Speaking at the event, Astrid Bant, UNFPA Chief Representative in Vietnam, pointed to the inequality between groups of young people in the country, citing as examples fewer job opportunities and less access to education for young women compared to their male peers and the gap between rural and urban youths.
She suggested Vietnam roll out exclusive policies to fill up the gaps and bring equal opportunities to all youngsters.

Vietnam is now in the period of golden population structure, which is regarded as a momentum for national economic growth, the UN official noted.

However, the period will not last long, she said, urging Vietnam to create the best possible conditions for young people to improve their knowledge, thus raising their productivity and making greater contributions to the national economy.

Howard Williamson, a professor of European youth policy at the University of South Wales, said youth development strategies should focus on building up start-up spirit, enabling young people to take part in the labour market and accelerating educational programmes.

Youth policies should aim at all-round development of young people, including access to quality education and health services and stable jobs, he said.

According to the national report on youth issues, young people (from 16 to 30 years old) account for 27.7 percent of Vietnam’s population.

However, Vu Dang Minh, head of the Department of Youth Affairs under the Ministry of Home Affairs, cited statistics which show that only 4.3 percent of Vietnamese youths obtain higher education and 10.7 percent of them have yet to finish primary education.

Young people in the 15-24 age group make up more than half of the nation’s total unemployment, he said.
The official said his ministry has proposed competent agencies amend and supplement youth-related policies, including the law on young people.

Source: VietnamPlus

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