AffiliationLiverpool John Moores University; University of Chester; Tay Bac University; Phu Xuan University; Hanoi University
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Other TitlesGCRF policy briefing
AbstractThere is a global rise of precarious work which does not pay enough or is not secure enough for people to live, or which is physically or emotionally toxic. The International Labour Organization (2022) describe ‘Decent Work’ as work which is productive and delivers a fair income, security in the workplace and social protection for families, better prospects for personal development and social integration, freedom for people to express their concerns, organize and participate in the decisions that affect their lives and equality of opportunity and treatment for all women and men. Decent Work is an ambition to empower marginalised groups from histories of disadvantage. As it describes a category of work related to income and social integration, it directly connects to other global challenges such as poverty, hunger, inequality, and health and wellbeing. Despite global policy efforts, even the ‘working poor’ are an increasing population in developed countries like the UK and the US. Policy can be developed to create these the conditions for ‘Decent Work for all’ so that no one is left behind. This policy briefing pinpoints key factors (policy levers) impacting Decent Work for all, drawing insights from Vietnam, one of the world’s fastest growing economies. It 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 (see overview of study below). This particular brief draws from survey data to examine the links between exclusionary factors and Decent Work (as defined through 15 characteristics indicated by the International Labour Organization scope above). It pinpoints key principles which can act as policy levers, such as addressing mismatches in localised labour and education markets, problems in policy implementation at the local level, through to a deficit in the range of empowerment capabilities of young people to change their employment prospects at a national level. Whilst the recommendations in this report are directly relevant to policy makers across the fields of education and work in Vietnam and similar developing countries (see context of study below), 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 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.
CitationWall, T., Hindley, A., Ho, T. H. T., Ngo, N., & Luong, M. P. (2022). Policy levers for empowering decent work (GCRF Policy Briefing). The British Academy.
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