Vietnamese flock for South Korea careers

By Hong Chieu   May 4, 2023 | 06:00 am PT
Vietnamese flock for South Korea careers
Vietnamese jobseekers attend a meeting before going to work in South Korea and Japan, July 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Hong Chieu
As many as 23,500 people have registered for a test to recruit laborers to work in South Korea, the highest in 10 years.

The test, conducted under the Employment Permit System (EPS), a program in South Korea that allows employers who have failed to hire local workers to legally employ foreign workers, will be organized from May 9 in Hanoi and from May 10 in Da Nang, and last until June 10.

This year’s EPS will choose only 12,000 Vietnamese laborers. Among the candidates, 19,200 have applied for the processing and manufacturing sector compared to South Korea’s demand of just 6,300.

Of the remaining, 2,600 applied for the fishery sector, 1,300 for farming sector and 434 for construction industry, according to the Center of Overseas Labor under the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs.

Laborers will perform a multiple test in Korean language first. If passed, they will do a professional skills test.

Employers will choose those with highest scores until fulfilling recruitment demand.

The test is built by the Human Resources Development Service of Korea, which organizes the whole competition.

Those who cheat will be banned from taking the test for four years.

In 2004, South Korea rolled out the EPS to help small and medium sized companies solve their labor shortages and since then more than 90% of Vietnamese laborers have traveled to work in South Korea through the program.

On average, migrant workers in South Korea earn $1,400-1,800 per month.

They mainly work as crew members on fishing vessels or in the fields of agriculture and fisheries under cooperation mechanisms between localities in both countries.

Currently, South Korea is banning laborers from certain districts and towns in Hai Duong, Thanh Hoa and Ha Tinh from applying to work as many residents from these places have stayed illegally in the country after their contracts ended.

South Korea stopped taking Vietnamese workers between 2012 and 2016 for the same reason.

Vietnam started sending laborers to South Korea in 1992.

More than 142,000 Vietnamese people worked overseas under labor contracts last year, with Japan hosting the most workers (67,295), followed by Taiwan (58,600) and South Korea (9,970), according to the labor ministry.

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