Thirty-seven blue-collar job Nepali aspirants -- one of the last batches of 2008's quota -- are flying to South Korea under the Employment Permit System (EPS) tomorrow and another 12 depart next week.
"These are the the last of last year's quota," said Krishna Mohan Sapkota, director general at the Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE).
Though, South Korea -- one of the most preferred destination countries for Nepali migrant workers -- has already started feeling the heat of the global financial crisis it has been taking the workers under 2008's quota.
After Nepal and South Korea signed a bilateral memorandum of understanding (MoU) on July 23, 2007, it was expected that South Korea would take some 5,000 Nepali migrant workers under EPS.
South Korea has set an annual quota (from March to February) of 72,000 foreign workers, of which 5,000 vacancies were separate for Nepali workers. For the year between 2008 and February 2009, the annual quota of 72,000 exhausted on December 30, 2008. They will get a legal work and stay permit for upto three years, according to the bilateral agreement.
South Korea will resume the process of taking Nepali workers for the year 2009 under EPS in the second half of March, according to DoFE. It annually takes 72,000 migrant workers from developing countries, including Nepal.
Till date, some 2,605 CCVIs were received by the EPS Section. However, 182 CCVIs were also cancelled. The EPS section also received 2,814 labour contracts. According to the section, 72 labour contacts were also cancelled.
According to the Employment of Foreign Worker-2003 Act, businesses that failed to recruit domestic human resources will be allowed legally to hire migrant workers from the sending country.
Scrapping its earlier scheme of Industrial Trainee in 2005, South Korea decided to implement employment permit system that treats foreign labourers at par with native ones. Now, migrant workers are required to enter South Korea through EPS. The majority of Nepalis are assigned to the manufacturing and agriculture sectors while a few are employed in hotels.
According to the contract between the two countries, after receiving HRD-Korea's final letter with the names of job aspirants, the department begins sending them to Korea. The name-list that HRD-Korea sent is according to the CCVI list. As per EPS rules, the first step for employment in South Korea is the Korean Language Test followed by a stringent medical test.
Employment Information Centre in offing
KATHMANDU: The government is planning to establish Employment Information Centers (EIC) to act as a information centre for job seekers and at the same time provide information on employment opportunities in the domestic market. The centers is planned to be set up at 14 zones but initially they will be set up in Jhapa, Biratnagar, Janakpur, Hetauda, Kathmandu, Butwal, Dhangadhi, Nepalgunj and Pokhara.