KATHMANDU, May 18: Nepal has asked South Korea to increase job quotas allotted to it under the Employment Permit System (EPS).
In a recent meeting with Choi Sung Chan, a top-level official from the South Korean Ministry for Employment and Labour, Dinesh Hari Adhikari, Nepal´s labor secretary, officially asked the visiting Korean official to increase the EPS quotas.
Labour secretary Adhikari asked Chan, who is currently in Nepal to discuss ways of improving the EPS, to increase the existing quotas of 7,100 to at least 10,000. Adhikari also asked South Korean officials, led by Chan, to make sure that their decision will come into effect from this year.
According to sources, the South Korean officials assured Adhikari that they would seriously consider the demand.
“We are hopeful that their decision would be in our favor,” an official at the Ministry of Labour and Transport Management (MoLTM) told Republica.
This year, a total of 57,652 Nepali youths aspiring to work in South Korea under the EPS have applied for Korean language tests. Those who pass the test will be listed on a roster maintained by the EPS section at the Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE). The test will be held from July 22 to July 23.
The Nepali workers listed on the EPS roster will be sent for South Korean jobs, turn by turn, whenever Korean companies require foreign workers. However, as the quotas allocated for Nepal are largely insufficient, very few Nepali youths succeed in bagging Korean jobs under the EPS.
Last year, South Korea had allocated 4,000 quotas for Nepal, which fell far short. Over 42,000 youths applied for Korean tests last year.
“The demand for Korean jobs among Nepali youths is very high,” Mahesh Acharya, the EPS section chief at the DoFE, said. “Unlike in Nepal, not so many youths in foreign countries apply for Korean jobs. This increases opportunity for Nepali workers.”
The EPS was introduced in 2004 following an agreement between Nepal and South Korea.