South Korea hires lesser than promised

KATHMANDU: South Korea under Employment Permit System (EPS) has hired a little more than half Nepali workers than the targetted number.

“South Korea has hired around 2,911 Nepali blue-collar jobseekers — 58.22 per cent of the target — since it started last July, the EPS data shows.

The EPS Nepal unit has targeted to send at least 5,000 Nepalis under 2008 quota.

The EPS process started on July 23, 2007 with a bilateral agreement between South Korea and Nepal.

But, the process started only after last July when the result of Korean Language Test (KLT) exam came out. Around 37,000 Nepali youths had appeared for KLT but only 6,768 passed it.

Among them, 6,556 were listed in EPS South Korea’s roster. In a year since last July, 3,453 Nepalis received labour contract (LC) and 3,088 received certificate of confirmation of visa issuance (CCVI).

The EPS was hit hard by global economic crisis in South Korea and hiring process has also slowed down this year. South Korea has been hiring Nepali migrant workers in three sectors — manufacturing, agriculture and fisheries. Moreover, manufacturing sector of EPS was affected in June and closed for 50 days from June 10 to July 31.

South Korea is a lucrative destination for Nepali migrant workers and EPS workers are getting $970 to $1,000 monthly salaries that is five times than in the Gulf countries and Malaysia. Nepalis working in South Korea under EPS has been contributing Rs 2 billion in remittance annually.

Around 1,91,592 foreign nationals are working in South Korea under EPS programme. Vietnam tops in the list sending 50,869 workers followed by Thailand with 31,170; the

Philippines with 30,328 and Indonesia with 23,574 labourers.