Kathmandu, June 24
The South Korean government is preparing to introduce a skill test for Nepali migrant workers who are selected under its Employment Permit System (EPS) along with the existing language proficiency test.
“The new provision of the skill test for workers selected under the EPS system will come into effect form 2020,” said Shobhakar Bhandari, spokesperson for EPS Korea section under the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security.
As per the new provision, the Korean government has separated the industrial category ratio, whereby the skill test will contribute 20 per cent to the total score and the remaining 80 per cent will be covered by the language test. Likewise, in the agricultural category, the skill test will cover 30 per cent of the total score and the language test will cover 70 per cent.
However, the selection criteria will remain the same as the existing one for 2019, said Bhandari.
The Korean government recruits migrant workers from 16 countries including Nepal and the skill test provision has already been implemented in all the other countries.
The EPS Korea section and the Korean government had planned to launch the skill test provision in Nepal from 2019 but due to lack of preparation the new system will only be launched in 2020.
“As per the new system Nepali migrant workers who aspire to go to South Korea will also have to do well in the skill test,” said Bhandari, adding that workers will not be eligible only through the language proficiency test.
He further informed that the new system was being introduced as most Nepali workers going to South Korea lacked the skills for which they had been selected.
The South Korean government will be providing employment opportunities to 7,100 Nepali workers in 2019, of whom 4,800 will be employed in the production sector and the remaining workers in the agriculture sector. The labour demand from South Korea stood at 10,200 in 2018 and 3,100 in 2017.
Altogether, 74,866 job aspirants appeared for the Korean Language Test (KLT) conducted by the EPS of South Korea this year. This was the ninth series of the KLT and those selected through the KLT will be eligible to apply for jobs in South Korea.
A version of this article appears in print on June 25, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.