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Guest workers to again head to South Korea

Released at: 21:14, 16/05/2016

Guest workers to again head to South Korea

MoU frees the way for more Vietnamese workers to gain employment in South Korea.

by Thien Huong

South Korea and Vietnam will re-sign a suspended Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Vietnamese guest workers heading to the country under the Employment Permit System (EPS) Program from 2017.

Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs Dao Ngoc Dung and Minister of Labor and Employment Lee Ki-kweon will re-sign the MoU during the latter’s visit to Vietnam from May 17.

South Korea’s decision to re-sign comes after its enterprises called on the government to scrap its existing limits on the number of Vietnamese workers they can engage. They have reportedly praised Vietnamese workers for their ability to adapt to the local working environment and acquire skills quickly.

Vietnam has also launched a program on raising awareness among workers and managing illegal Vietnamese workers in South Korea during 2016-2018.

The two sides will also discuss issues of mutual concern such as industrial safety in Vietnam, labor information systems, and labor law during talks between the two ministers.

Minister Lee will also meet with Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam to discuss expanding personnel exchanges and removing obstacles in administrative procedures to attract investment.

According to the Ministry of Labor and Employment, about 10,000 South Korean employees are currently working at 3,300 South Korean enterprises in Vietnam. As at the end of the third quarter last year some 32 per cent of Vietnamese workers had overstayed their visa in South Korea, local media reported, citing Vietnam’s labor ministry.

Before the restrictions, Vietnamese workers sent around $700 million in total to their families each year, accounting for more than one-third of total remittances.

Once the MoU is re-signed the number of workers heading to South Korea is expected to increase sharply from 2017.

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