Are rural youth in the Mekong region losing interest in farming?

Smallholder farmers in the Mekong region face increasingly insecure farming livelihoods as land resources are drawn into the hands of developers. SEI is exploring what this means for the future of rural youth and farming.

The livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers in the Mekong region are tied to their land. But the demands for land for large-scale agriculture, industrial and energy development schemes such as monoculture plantations, special economic zones, and hydropower projects are taking away land from smallholders, giving rise to more landless farmers and increasing land inequality.

Meanwhile, national policies often fail to protect the rights of smallholder farmers who are poorly positioned to compete with these developers and to benefit from the outcomes of the investments.

This indicates a precarious future for smallholder farming-based livelihoods in the Mekong Region, the situation exacerbated by the failure of current labour markets to provide decent, secure jobs for the increasing number of landless people. Tiếp tục đọc “Are rural youth in the Mekong region losing interest in farming?”

Carrying Way Too Much Stuff

man on motorcycle transporting ducks

In most western nations, goods are transported on trains, ships, and trucks.

But in areas where those vehicles are less available, people who need to move a lot of stuff from place to place get much more creative.

These photos reveal how people from all over the world use bikes, carts, boats, and animals in amazing ways to get themselves and their stuff where Tiếp tục đọc “Carrying Way Too Much Stuff”

Nearly two-thirds of global workforce in the ‘informal’ economy – UN study

More than 61 per cent of the world’s employed population – two billion people – earn their livelihoods in the informal sector, the United Nations labour agency said on Monday, stressing that a transition to the formal economy is critical to ensure rights’ protection and decent working conditions.

The high incidence of informality in all its forms has multiple adverse consequences for workers, enterprises and societies and is a major challenge for the realization of decent work for all,” said Rafael Diez de Medina, the Director of the Department of Statistics at the UN International Labour Organization (ILO).

The findings are revealed in ILO’s latest report, Women and men in the informal economy: A statistical picture. The study also provides comparable estimates on the size of the informal economy and a statistical profile of the sector, using criteria from more than 100 countries.

“Having managed to measure this important dimension, now included in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) indicators framework, this can be seen as an excellent step towards acting on it, particularly thanks to more available comparable data from countries,” added Mr. Diez de Medina.

The geographic distribution of employment in the informal sector presents a striking picture. Tiếp tục đọc “Nearly two-thirds of global workforce in the ‘informal’ economy – UN study”

Education and Skills for Inclusive Growth, Green Jobs and the Greening of Economies in Asia: Case Study Summaries of India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Viet Nam

© Asian Development Bank 2018. This book is an open access publication.

Download here

The green economy is a new economic paradigm which seeks to achieve economic development, while at the same time protecting the environment and achieving sustainable economic and social development. This requires transitioning to green jobs and green skills, and to creating new jobs in relation to the greening of workforces. Green jobs are relevant across all key sectors: agriculture, manufacturing, building, transport, tourism, and renewable energy. Skills acquisition and enhancement have great positive implications for all aspects of education and training, and for businesses.

Keywords Green jobs Green skills Green economy Green growth Sustainability Skills development priorities Waste management and recycling Renewable energy Skills acquisition and enhancement Skills toward sustainability Energy transition Smart cities Environmental goods and services Education and training

What’s Up in Coal Country: Alternative-Energy Jobs

NYtimes_From the mountain hollows of Appalachia to the vast open plains of Wyoming, the coal industry long offered the promise of a six-figure income without a four-year college degree, transforming sleepy farm towns into thriving commercial centers.

But today, as King Coal is being dethroned — by cheap natural gas, declining demand for electricity, and even green energy — what’s a former miner to do?

Nowhere has that question had more urgency than in Wyoming and West Virginia, two very different states whose economies lean heavily on fuel extraction. With energy prices falling or stagnant, both have lost population and had middling economic growth in recent years. In national rankings of economic vitality, you can find them near the bottom of the pile. Tiếp tục đọc “What’s Up in Coal Country: Alternative-Energy Jobs”

Germany’s Transition from Coal to Renewables Offers Lessons for the World  
Germany's Transition from Coal to Renewables Offers Lessons for the World
Credit: Krisztian Bocsi Getty Images

From Ensia (find the original story here), from an article commissioned by Courier; reprinted with permission.

August 1, 2017—Seventy-seven-year-old Heinz Spahn—whose blue eyes are both twinkling and stern—vividly recalls his younger days. The Zollverein coal mine, where he worked in the area of Essen, Germany, was so clogged with coal dust, he remembers, that people would stir up a black cloud whenever they moved. “It was no pony farm,” he says—using the sardonic German phrase to describe the harsh conditions: The roar of machines was at a constant 110 decibels, and the men were nicknamed waschbar, or “raccoons,” for the black smudges that permanently adorned their faces. Tiếp tục đọc “Germany’s Transition from Coal to Renewables Offers Lessons for the World”

Can coal miners become solar technician?

Nothing on Earth moves without energy, and most of the energy that people use is of the fossil variety: coal, oil, and natural gas. Although renewable energy is beginning to make inroads, fossil fuels still account for 78 percent of global final energy consumption as of 2014, according to REN21’s Global Status Report 2016It is abundantly clear that a fundamental energy makeover is needed if we are to avoid climate chaos—especially with regard to coal, the dirtiest fuel of them all. Until recently, global coal production and use were still growing.

Advocates for renewable energy are typically consumed with matters like technology development, cost competitiveness, and policy support for deploying solar, wind, and other renewables. But the social dimension of the energy transition is just as crucial: in moving away from polluting sources of energy, we need to make sure that the workers who for decades have dug up coal aren’t left in the lurch. These are the people who have often paid with their health so that the rest of us could power air conditioners, refrigerators, TVs, and gadgets galore. Tiếp tục đọc “Can coal miners become solar technician?”

Garment workers in Thanh Hoá strike


Update: September, 08/2017 – 17:53

Nearly 6,000 workers in Thanh Hoá Province are going on a strike, asking for more favourable labour terms. – Photo

THANH HOÁ – About 6,000 garment workers of S&H Vina company in Thành Tâm Ward, Thạch Thành District have gone on strike due to what they say inhumane conditions at the company.

The work stoppage began on Wednesday after a factory manager told workers not to sleep on sheets used to cover stock during their breaks. 

Protesting the inhumane requirements, more than 2,000 workers of workshop No 1 stopped working and gathered in the factory yard. After that, nearly 4,000 workers of workshop No 2 and 3 joined the strike, asking for changes in labour policies. Tiếp tục đọc “Garment workers in Thanh Hoá strike”

Minimum wage increase ineffective in raising living standards in Vietnam

VIR_Increasing the regional minimum wage has raised concerns over a potential trade-off with social allowances that would block the new wages from increasing employees’ real income.

Hugaco  expressed concerns that the minimum wage increase might actually decrease employees’ real income

Cutting allowances to increase wages Tiếp tục đọc “Minimum wage increase ineffective in raising living standards in Vietnam”

10 things to know about the global labour force

Briefing papers

April 2017

ODI_Creating more and better jobs is frequently identified as a top priority in global development, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are no exception.

Nearly six million participants of the MY World Survey, a UN survey which influenced and informed the SDGs, identified ‘better job opportunities’ as key for their and their families’ futures. As a result, jobs have found their space in SDG8: ‘Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all’, and are referenced in several other goals.

10 things to know about the global labour force examines the number of people inside and outside the global labour force, illustrating who they are, where they are and the scale of the global jobs challenge, drawing attention to the 2 billion people of working age classified as outside the labour force, many of whom want to work. Surprisingly, there has been little focus on this group. Less surprisingly, about two-thirds are women, and a very high share of them are in the Asia-Pacific region. Their need for jobs will add significantly to the challenges of job creation and of meeting the SDGs.

Tiếp tục đọc “10 things to know about the global labour force”

Regional countries agree on safe labour migration

Last update 16:31 | 03/08/2017

VietNamNet Bridge – Ministers of labour from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam (CLMTV) – agreed to improve their migration management system and share responsibilities in contributing to safe labour migration.

Promote education, vocational training, management of migrant workers, Vietnam economy, Vietnamnet bridge, English news about Vietnam, Vietnam news, news about Vietnam, English news, Vietnamnet news, latest news on Vietnam, Vietnam
A welder work at a mechanical workshop. Ministers of labour from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam agreed to boost safe migration workers among countries in a conference in Da Nang. Photos: Cong Thanh/VNS

The reaffirmation was included in the CLMTV joint declaration on safe labour migration at the 2nd Ministerial Conference on Labour Co-operation in CLMTV in Da Nang yesterday.

The ministers also committed to boosting information exchanges, and encouraging legal cross-border workers and employment through bilateral agreements among the five countries. Tiếp tục đọc “Regional countries agree on safe labour migration”

Vietnam’s aging population expected to work longer in future

Last update 08:00 | 08/04/2017
VietNamNet Bridge – The World Bank has estimated that by 2030, nearly one-fifth of Vietnamese will enter old age and around 40 percent of the population aged 70-74 will still have to work, mostly in the unofficial labor market.

vietnam economy, business news, vn news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, vn news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news, GDP, Le Xuan Nghia, inflation rate

Nguyen Thi Be, about 60, from Thai Binh province, has been living and working as a housemaid for a family in Hanoi for nearly one decade.

Thai Binh was considered the rice granary in the north. However, Be said, the rice fields in her homeland have been left uncultivated for years. It is because farmers now cannot earn their living only on field work. Tiếp tục đọc “Vietnam’s aging population expected to work longer in future”

Workers in VN paid half of salaries in China at Japanese factories

Last update 14:00 | 01/03/2017
 VietNamNet Bridge – The salary Vietnamese receive at Japanese businesses is half of what workers in China can expect. The key lies in productivity and the shift of production to higher stages of the value chain.

vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, TPP, US President Obama, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, vn news, Vietnam breaking news, vietnamese workers, JETRO, IT engineer

A recent survey by JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization) showed Vietnamese workers received $4,025 on average per year in 2016, though they worked for leading Japanese companies.

The amount of money was less than 50 percent of the salary that Japanese companies paid to Chinese workers who work for factories in China.

JETRO’s Chief Representative Atsusuke Kawada said the pay to Vietnamese shows that Vietnam remains a market with cheap labor costs in comparison with other countries. This is a great advantage for Vietnam to attract Japanese investors. Tiếp tục đọc “Workers in VN paid half of salaries in China at Japanese factories”

Millions of SE Asian jobs may be lost to automation in next two decades: ILO

reuters_More than half of workers in five Southeast Asian countries are at high risk of losing their jobs to automation in the next two decades, an International Labour Organization study found, with those in the garments industry particularly vulnerable.

About 137 million workers or 56 percent of the salaried workforce from Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, fall under the high-risk category, the study showed.

“Countries that compete on low-wage labor need to reposition themselves. Price advantage is no longer enough,” said Deborah France-Massin, director for the ILO’s bureau for employers’ activities. The report said workers have to be trained to work effectively alongside digitalized machines. Tiếp tục đọc “Millions of SE Asian jobs may be lost to automation in next two decades: ILO”