China sends first government-brokered contract workers to ROK

08:46, June 29, 2011      

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China on Tuesday sent the first 120 migrant workers selected through government-arranged channels to work in the Republic of Korea (ROK), a move to comply with Seoul's new policy on hiring foreign workers.

The 46 contract workers heading to the ROK were dispatched from northeastern Jilin Province, close to the Korean Peninsula. Others were from the provinces of Heilongjiang, Shandong and Henan, local officials said.

At least 961 people in Jilin have applied for government-brokered contract work in the ROK, and 379 were chosen by Korean employers and are ready to go, said Chen Yifeng, an official with the provincial foreign economic cooperation office.

China is among 15 countries and regions that signed agreements on guest labor with Seoul after it enacted stricter laws on hiring foreign workers in 2004. Under the agreement, government agencies from China and the ROK, instead of labor agents in most cases, are responsible for arranging work for Chinese job seekers.

Job seekers need to pass various tests to secure a job before leaving China, Chen said.

Li Junlong, 24, a junior high graduate in Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, Jilin, said he was glad to be able to receive a monthly salary of 970,000 Korean won (about 895 U.S.dollars), plus overtime.

Currently about 150,000 people from Jilin are estimated to work in the ROK through various channels, Chen said.

The official said the government-brokered jobs are safer and incur less cost compared with those brokered by labor agents. He said governments from the two sides jump-started the program last year after the Asian economies recovered from the financial crisis.

Source: Xinhua
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