Expanding employment opportunities overseas

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Expanding employment opportunities overseas

In Middle Eastern nations like the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar and Kuwait, you can experience fully air-conditioned office buildings year-round, carefully-trimmed trees grown with fresh water, skyscrapers, glorious night views and public safety. Despite the global economic slump, the Middle East is growing due to oil. Now, the region provides decent jobs to young Koreans, unlike the hard labor depicted in the movie “Ode to My Father.”

About 950 flight attendants are working in Qatar, and more medical professionals, such as doctors and nurses, are expected to work there. 2,400 Koreans are employed in administrative positions at nuclear power plants in the UAE. Saudi Aramco, the biggest petroleum company in the world, recently hired more than 100 Koreans. Professors, researchers, aircraft maintenance crew workers and personal trainers also work in the Middle East.

Of course, moving to another country is not an easy decision. Cultural differences, such as bans on alcohol and female drivers, could be tough. Also, compared to the United States and Europe, living standards may not be as convenient. However, these income tax-free jobs pay more than Korean jobs, provide 40 vacation days and have a lighter workload. As experience in the region could be useful when moving to English-speaking countries, it may be beneficial for young Koreans. Since the culture prioritizes experience and expertise over academic background, skilled middle-aged workers and professionals can also have opportunities.

The Korean government is promoting various policies such as a one-stop information portal, mobile applications, specialized training programs and easier visa requirements to help young Koreans get jobs in the Middle East in fields with labor shortages, such as energy, healthcare and ICT.

In order to expand employment opportunities and overseas investment, the government will reinforce customized overseas investment assistance policies. When government efforts are combined with the passion of young workers, the Middle East will provide great new opportunities.

Yoon Sang-jick Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy

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