Islamabad: A two member delegation, comprising Sheikh Waqas Akram, the Honourable Minister of State for Human Resources Development, and Mr. Saeed Ahmed Shaikh, the Managing Director of Overseas Employment Corporation (OEC), visited South Korea from the 14th till the 18th of November, 2011. The basic objective of the visit was to discuss the possibilities of increasing the number of workers and professionals (i.e. engineers) from Pakistan into South Korea.
Meetings were held with relevant government organizations within the South Korean Government, leading private sector companies of South Korea, job and employment centers, small and medium sized employers and Pakistani community including businessmen. During the meetings, the delegation was accompanied by His Excellency, Mr. Shaukat Ali Mukadam, the Ambassador of Pakistan to South Korea, and Mr. Muhammad Humair Karim, the Counsellor / Community Welfare Attache at the Embassy of Pakistan, Seoul, says a press release received here today from Seoul.
The private sector companies included KP Chemicals (a subsidiary of the leading Lotte Group of South Korea), GM Korea, Pohang Iron and Steel Company (POSCO) and Daelim Industrial Limited. The private sector organizations expressed interest in exploring the possibility of job opportunities for professionals, particularly Pakistani engineers, either in Korea or for their operations abroad.
They desired holding further talks in the matter. They stated that perhaps engineers could be recruited for work in Korea, or by Korean companies for work in other countries, or be brought here for training followed by placement abroad.
Meetings with government organisations included those with the Vice Minister for Employment and Labour, the President of the Human Resources Development Services of Korea, the Executive Vice Chairmen of the Korea Small and Medium Business Federation, and Job and Employment Centers.
These government organisations assured that they will try their best to enhance the number of Pakistani workers in South Korea. They appreciated the good qualities of Pakistani labour while emphasizing that Korean work culture is required to be followed.
The Honourable Minister of State informed that efforts are being made to improve the quality of Pakistani labour. These include expansion of pre-departure training program which would focus on the need to adhere to Korean work culture and ethics, need to adhere to contract terms and conditions and other aspects.
The Minister assured that quality of Pakistani labour coming to Korea from January 2012 onwards would be of better quality due to enhanced training methods, and requested that more and more Pakistani workers be given opportunities to work in the country.
Meetings were also held with the Pakistani community including the Pakistani Business Association, small and medium sized employers, the employment and job centers and the Mayor of Siheung city where a large number of Pakistanis work.
The Job and Employment Centers in Korea play a critical role in provision of jobs for the workers. In a meeting held with them, the Regional Managing Director assured the visiting Minister of State that matter of provision of jobs for Pakistanis would be taken up with more employers. The Minister also visited the premises of the NPT factory, located about 1 hour drive from Seoul. Over there, the Minister and the MD met the Pakistani workers and appreciated their hardwork.
The workers were also asked to adhere to local work culture and ethics, address their shortcomings, and put up exemplary behaviour so as to encourage Korean employers to hire more workers from Pakistan. Meetings were also held with owners of two small and medium sized businesses. During the meetings, the positive characteristics of Pakistani workers were highlighted, and owners requested to hire more Pakistani workers.
In the meeting with the Mayor of Siheung, the latter was thanked by the Minister of State for looking after the Pakistani community in the area. The Mayor also agreed to use his efforts for promoting Pakistani labour in the area.
The visit could be regarded as fruitful as more avenues were opened up for employment of Pakistani professionals and workers in South Korea.
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