South Korea plans to increase quota for Bangladeshi workers: Envoy
South Korea is planning to increase its quota for recruiting Bangladeshi workers next year as many Korean employers are satisfied with the Bangladeshi workers and are recognising their diligence and faithfulness.
South Korean Ambassador to Bangladesh, Lee Jang-keun, said this at a ceremony at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport today (November 8, 2022).
A total of 248 Bangladeshi workers left for Korea through a chartered flight this afternoon, making it the biggest number going to Korea in a single day so far.
Addressing the departing workers, Expatriates' Welfare Ministry Secretary Ahmed Munirus Saleheen said he was so happy that the Bangladeshis in Korea were earning reputation through their hard work and honesty.
"Please keep up the good name and keep contact with your families at home," he told the workers. He suggested that they use banking channels to send home remittances.
According to a statement of the Korean embassy, until November 1, a total of 3,986 Bangladeshis went to Korea, making it the largest number since the start of Korea's Employment Permit System (EPS) in 2008.
Through EPS, the Korean government recruits low and medium skilled foreign workers. Before today, the largest number of Bangladesh EPS workers went to Korea in 2010. It was 2,691.
Ambassador Lee Jang-keun said as many as 5,200 Bangladesh workers are expected to go to Korea by the end of the year. Around 150 Bangladesh workers are likely to be admitted to Korea in 2023.
Among the 248 workers who left for Korea today were two female workers.
Champa, who would work at a manufacturing factory in Gyeonggi Province for the next four years and ten months, said that she does not expect difficulties in Korea as the company would provide food and shelter.
Speaking at the ceremony, her mother will raise her ten months old daughter while she works in Korea.
Another female worker Tithee, who will work at the same company as Champa, said that her dream is to set up a diagnostic centre in Bangladesh.
Kim Dong-chan of the EPS Center in Dhaka hoped to see more Bangladesh women take the Korean language competency test, which is the requirement for the EPS opportunities in Korea, saying that female workers in factories in Korea could get the same level of salary as male workers.
The Korean language test for the 20,000 candidate workers selected through a lottery in September will begin at the end of January 2023.
EPS is an employment system to recruit low and medium skilled foreign workers from 16 countries including Bangladesh.
Those who are below 39 years old and qualified from the Korean language proficiency test can apply for this program. However, those who have criminal history or health problems can be limited.
Korea has established various protective measures for foreign workers such as the prohibition of discrimination including the salary, equal application of labour laws, subscription of four social insurances which was highly recognized by the UN in 2011 giving UN Public Administration Award.