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Better opportunities for Lao workers in Korea 

Lao workers now have better opportunities to find jobs in the Republic of Korea’s industrial sector, according to authorities.
Laos’ Employment Service Centre under the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare made the announcement this week, which is encouraging news for Lao citizens considering taking up jobs in Korea.
Director of the Employment Service Centre, Mr Khamsene Xayavong, told Vientiane Times the reason for the announcement is that skilled workers from Laos are still in demand in Korea under the Employment Permit System EPS-TOPIK, following the signing of a Service Commitment Agreement in 2016.
“The Lao-Korean agreement outlines the duties and requirements needed to support cooperation between the two sides for the smooth operation of the programme,” he said.
Korea requires workers aged 18 to 39 who are in good health and are not banned from entering Korea, with all applicants required to pay US$24 before taking a language test.
“All applicants are required to have some knowledge of Korean and those wanting to work there must first pass a language test,” Mr Khamsene said.
Workers can obtain an application form at the centre every day from March 26 to April 6. The language test is scheduled for May 8 and the results will be announced by May 25, he added.
The Korean government decides each year on the size of the quota to be granted to each country for foreign workers in their manufacturing, building, agriculture, fisheries, industrial, and service sectors.
Lao workers can sign a one-year or longer employment contract with a maximum extension period of three years.
Labour officials said the Korean job market was attractive with Lao nationals receiving a minimum wage starting at US$1,400 a month but workers needed to be able to overcome any problems they might encounter.
Lao workers overseas have to adjust themselves to a new environment and confront some difficulties, but the Korean people value Lao workers.
Some workers face difficulties adapting to their new working environment and the cold climate as well as cultural and language differences.
The annual quota allocated to each country depends on several factors including the Korean economy, employers’ satisfaction, the proportion of illegal workers from each country, and bilateral relations between Korea and each labour export country.
According to the ministry, Laos is ranked seventh in Asean for the number of workers sent to Korea under the Employment Permit System with the top three being Vietnam with 55,795, the Philippines with 26,217, followed by Indonesia with 24,732 workers.
For many years, Lao workers have sought jobs in other countries in the region, particularly Thailand.

By Phetphoxay Sengpaseuth
(Latest Update
March 2,

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