The South Korea government has supplied more than 10,000 workers, both nationals and foreigners, to the shipbuilding industry in the first half of this year. Out of these, foreign workers totaled 8,300.

According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy and the Ministry of Justice, a total of 11,104 production workers, combining domestic and foreign skilled (E-7) and low-skilled (E-9) workers, were deployed to the domestic shipbuilding industry as of June 30.

First, 1,793 domestic workers were produced through a customized workforce development program for job seekers. Out of these, 1,716 were hired by small and medium-sized shipbuilding companies. A total of 10.8 billion won is being invested this year in the “Local Shipbuilding Production Workforce Development Project,” which supports those seeking employment in the shipbuilding sector.

For the foreign skilled workers under E-7 visas, the Ministry and the Shipbuilding Association recommended a total of 6,282 people for employment during the first half. Out of these, 5,209 who received visas from the Ministry of Justice were placed on domestic shipbuilding sites. For foreign low-skilled workers (E-9), a shipbuilding-specific quota was introduced this year. Through this, a total of 3,638 work permits were issued in the first half and 3,179 of them entered the country.

The government explained that the workforce supplied in the first half covers more than 70% of the estimated shortage of about 14,000 workers in the shipbuilding industry by the end of this year.

Additionally, the government announced the pilot operation of a “training-type E-7 visa” for foreign workers hoping to be employed by domestic shipyards. Qualified foreigners will first enter with a training visa, receive six months of theoretical and on-site training and Korean language instruction at shipbuilding technical training centers, and if finally hired, they will transition to a skilled worker E-7 visa.

Source: BusinessKorea