The government has decided to increase foreign worker quotas to alleviate labor shortage in industries from shipbuilding to agriculture.
A meeting chaired by Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho on Monday heard that industries suffering a shortage of labor include shipbuilding (4,800 workers), manufacturing jobs like welding, casting and molding (27,000), retail (5,900), hospitality (8,300), and taxis and buses (2,300). Small farms are also in desperate need of hands.
The quota will be increased by 6,000 from the current 10,480 to 16,480. The number of agricultural and livestock workers will also increase by 600 to 2,224.
New work permits, which were normally issued in the third or fourth quarter each year, will be issued in August this year so unskilled foreigners can enter the country in the second half of the year.
The government will also help foreign workers on standby since applying for their work permits to enter the country as early as possible.
Next year’s quota will be decided in October so that foreign workers can start coming in January, more than two months earlier than usual.
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