South Korea to Increase Cambodian Workers to 10,000

South Korea has pledged to increase its quota of Cambodian workers to 10,000 - a hike from the previous 3,000 to 4,000 annually
Workers work on a construction in Phnom Penh. Kiripost/Siv Channa
Workers work on a construction in Phnom Penh. Kiripost/Siv Channa

South Korea has pledged to increase the quota of Cambodian workers to more than 10,000 this year.

According to the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training, the head of South Korea’s human resource development unit, Uh Soobong, and Cambodian Minister of Labor and Vocational Training, Ith Sam Heng, discussed recruiting workers quickly and found ways to hire more Cambodian workers.

Through evaluation from Korean employers, it has been noted that Cambodian workers are honest, diligent and pay attention to their work. These are favored attributes by Korean employers, who are satisfied, the Ministry said on its Facebook page on Monday.

Sam Heng said that even during the Covid-19 pandemic, South Korea continued to recruit Cambodian workers and provide them with good care and support.

With the return of Cambodian workers from Korea, he observed that they have made great progress and brought economic changes. Some have become well-known entrepreneurs and investors, Sam Heng said.

He added that the South Korean Ministry of Employment has provided good employment services to Cambodian workers. This year, South Korea promised to provide quotas to more than 10,000 Cambodian workers through the Committee for Training and send workers overseas through the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training.

It will recruit workers who are capable and diligent working for Korean employers to be more productive.

South Korea will organize a skills training program for foreign workers who have completed their term in Korea, in which Cambodia may be a priority country to benefit from the new project. The goal is to provide loans to help workers be able to run a business properly and earn a good income, the Ministry said.

Dy The Hoya, program officer at labor organization, CENTRAL, said the​ quota of more than 10,000 people​​ is large compared with the previous 3,000 to 4,000 people annually.

He said South Korea is different from other countries, where they authorize states or issue licenses to private companies as recruiters and senders of workers. South Korea has the advantage that it cannot allow private companies to choose, it is the state that sends workers.

He added, “By sending workers to Korea, we see they have to spend a lot of money in the process, like the official announcement for people to apply and see that the application is expensive.”

He said that these recruitment processes should involve civil society organizations to monitor transparency and accountability.

“We want to see ethical selection without requiring them to pay, meaning that if a quota or a certain amount of market demands 10,000 Cambodian workers, Korean employers are obliged to cover all costs for workers,” he added.