Policy Interventions for Minority Ethnic Young People and Decent Work

by Tony Wall, Ann Hindley, Nga Ngo, Thi Hanh Tien Ho and Minh Phuong Luong

The British Academy
Number of pages

Minority ethnic young people in most countries are some of the most likely to be unemployed or be in unstable or badly paid employment. Vietnam is a case in point where its minority ethnic young people face relatively low rates of employment and wages, as well as job insecurity, job informality and poor working conditions.

To address these employment issues, Vietnam’s educational policy educational interventions have included the provision of minority ethnic boarding schools and foundational programmes, differentiated access arrangements and specialised vocational or training programmes for minority ethnic young people.

But how do these relate to the aspects of ‘Decent Work’ for students and graduates of higher education?

This policy briefing draws from a study examining the empowerment of minority ethnic young people (aged 18-25) to re-vision Decent Work in Vietnam with policy-makers, employers and university leaders.The briefing pinpoints key lessons and insights from Vietnam, one of the world’s fastest growing economies, where policy initiatives have attempted to enable greater access to employment opportunities for the diverse communities of minority ethnic people living across the country. Specifically, the briefing identifies the range of impacts that the various initiatives seem to have on the young people, in terms of their sense of empowerment to be able to access and participate in Decent Work.

The briefing outlines practical ways that policy interventions might change to deepen access to Decent Work for minority ethnic young people. While the recommendations in this report are directly relevant to policy makers across the fields of education and work in Vietnam and similar developing countries, the underlying principles have a wider resonance and applicability to policy makers across other geographic contexts with similar characteristics. For example, the rising occurrence of informal and unstable work opportunities which do not provide a sufficient wage ‘to live’ has been noted for over two decades in the UK and US.

We invite all policy makers in the fields of education and work to consider the practical value of the recommendations and principles within this brief.

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