Companies want higher foreign worker quotas

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Companies want higher foreign worker quotas

More than half of all Korean companies that employ foreign workers want the government to raise the present hiring quota so they can cope with manpower shortages, a poll showed yesterday.

The survey on 303 companies by the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) showed 53.8 percent want the hiring cap raised, with 43.2 percent saying numbers should be kept at last year’s levels. Only 3 percent said the number of migrant workers should be reduced.

The government has set its foreign workers quota at 57,000 for this year, unchanged from 2011, although 67,000 workers must leave the country because their work visas expire.

The country’s largest private economic organization with 135,000 members said 66.3 percent of its companies say foreign workers are needed because Koreans do not want to work in manufacturing-related jobs.

The survey also showed that only 11.9 percent of respondents thought low wages are the main incentive for hiring foreign workers.

“Companies stressed they needed foreign workers not because they cost less to employ, but because there is a chronic shortage of Koreans,” the KCCI said. Yonhap

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