South Korea to Hire Nepali Workers in Service and Forestry Sectors

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South Korea to Hire Nepali Workers in Service and Forestry Sectors

May 9: South Korea has decided to take Nepali workers to two more new areas in 2024. Small and medium-sized manufacturing companies of South Korea with less than 300 employees and agriculture and animal husbandry sectors are currently hiring Nepali workers under the Korean government’s Employment Permit System (EPS).

"From the end of this year, Nepalese workers will also get employment opportunities in the service and forestry sectors in Korea under EPS," South Korean Ambassador to Nepal Park Tae-Young said in a press conference held on Wednesday, adding, "The quota for this has also been determined."

Maiya Kandel, director of EPS branch, said that lthough Korea usually does not hire workers by changing sectors, it has accepted the request made by the Government of Nepal to send the aspiring workers to the service sector from among those on the roster of manufacturing industry and agriculture.

Under the service sector, Nepalis will be permitted to work in hotels, restaurants, cooking and cleaning. According to Kandel, the number of Nepalis to be taken by Korea under the service sector has not been determined. She said that South Korea is yet to place the demand for the forestry sector.

South Korea is one of the most attractive destinations for Nepali workers due to the high wages and social security arrangements compared to other countries, although the work done by the workers going under the EPS is menial job.

Under the EPS system, South Korea has been taking workers from 16 countries including Nepal. Other countries are Indonesia, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Cambodia, China, Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan, East Timor and Laos. Compared to other countries, Korean companies have hired a large number of Nepali workers.

In 2023, Korea set a quota for 120,000 foreign workers under the EPS system, under which 19,739 Nepalis were hired, according to the Human Resources Development Services of Korea.

A quota of 165,000 has been set for the year 2024. With the increase in the total quota of foreign workers, the quota that Nepal will get has also increased. According to the EPS branch, the total quota for Nepal in 2024 has increased by 13.2 percent. Kandel said that the annual quota is currently around 15,800.

Nepali workers have been going to South Korea for employment after the governments of Nepal and South Korea signed a ministerial-level agreement in July 2007 to hire Nepali workers under the EPS system. Under this G2G process, Nepalis can go to Korea for employment. The private sector has no role in this process.

According to Human Resources Development Services of Korea, 99,900 Nepalis have reached there from Nepal under EPS so far. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there are currently around 40,000 Nepalis working in Korea. Most of them have gone under EPS.


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