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S. Korea expands job opportunities for Bangladeshi workers

Published : 20 Feb 2024 10:19 PM

In a move to strengthen economic ties, the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Bangladesh has announced the opening of job opportunities in the construction and fisheries sectors for Bangladeshi job seekers. 

This initiative is part of the 11th EPS General Korean Language Test, with applications being accepted on a first-come, first-served basis starting on Wednesday.

The expansion includes the existing manufacturing and shipbuilding industries, with Bangladesh Overseas Employment and Services Limited (BOESL) overseeing the test draw and application process. Approximately 7,500 positions in manufacturing, 304 in shipbuilding, 1,877 in fisheries, and 1,095 in construction are set to be filled this year, according to a press release from the embassy. 

Prospective applicants for the 11th EPS TOPIK can register between February 20 and early March, with the Korean Language Proficiency Test scheduled to take place from March 11 to the end of May. However, each applicant can only apply for one of the four sectors, and those taking the 11th EPS TOPIK cannot apply for the 12th EPS TOPIK, it said. 

Since the inception of the Employment Permit System (EPS) program in 2008, the number of workers sent to Korea has steadily increased, reaching a peak of 5,891 in 2022. This year, Korea plans to bring in 165,000 non-skilled foreign workers from 16 countries, including Bangladesh.

The estimated 5,000 Bangladeshi workers expected to be sent to South Korea in 2024 are anticipated to contribute an  additional $100 million annually to Bangladesh's foreign exchange reserves, based on the South Korean minimum wage of KRW 2,060,000 per person.

To enhance their chances of being selected by Korean employers, Bangladeshi workers are encouraged to speak Korean fluently and demonstrate loyalty to their first employer. This, in turn, is expected to increase remittances and contribute to Bangladesh's foreign currency earnings.

Ambassador Park Young-sik praised the addition of fishing and construction to this year's Korean language test, acknowledging the collaborative efforts of BOESL and HRD Korea. He highlighted the importance of Bangladeshi workers settling well in Korean society, drawing parallels with the success of Nepalese workers in Korea.

The Ambassador also emphasized the economic significance of remittances by Bangladesh workers and urged a focus on developing high-tech skills and fostering a vibrant returning workers' community for an overall industrial revival in Bangladesh.

In an effort to support returning workers, the HRD Korea-EPS Center, in cooperation with BOESL, is conducting activities to locate approximately 400 returnees who did not receive social insurance such as expiry insurance and return flight insurance. The initiative aims to create a community that facilitates the exchange of experiences and ideas for successful settlement in Bangladesh.

As a step towards building a supportive community, the inaugural ceremony discussed the rights and obligations of returning workers' community members. Eight local communities, including Dhaka, are set to be formed, with regular meetings planned to encourage communication and collaboration among returning workers.