KCCI chips in to set new hiring standards

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KCCI chips in to set new hiring standards

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The nation’s largest business lobbying group is taking the lead to develop training programs for employees and setting the hiring standards customized for each of 11 industries, including business administration, electricity and IT, to help job seekers understand what skills prospective employers are looking for.

The Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) and the Ministry of Employment and Labor on Tuesday joined in a plan to form a human resources development committee for 11 industrial sectors. Their job will be to come up with standardized job seeker assessment criteria and employee training programs under state-led National Competency Standards (NCS) guidelines. They will be based on practical skills needed in each industrial sector and prevent job candidates from being judged on their family backgrounds or alma maters.

The 11 participating sectors are: business administration, which includes financing and management jobs; metal processing such as molding and welding; electricity, energy and natural resources; textile and fashion; chemicals; materials; machinery; broadcast and telecommunications; electronics; information technology (IT); and finance and insurance.

Under the leadership of KCCI, each sector’s trade association will help establish training curricula, revise the current hiring systems, and plan work-study programs for high-school graduates. The 11 trade associations and the KCCI will become a de facto advisory committee.

Another job of the committee is to spread the NCS guidelines to major companies in each sector, and to encourage a corporate culture that doesn’t emphasize academic and family backgrounds in the hiring processes.

Samsung SDS, LG CNS, SK C&C and Posco ICT will participate in the IT committee, while Shinhan Bank, Woori Bank and Samsung Life Insurance will participate in the financial committee. Posco, Hyundai Steel and Dongkuk Steel will participate in the materials committee, while SK Telecom, KT and LG U+ will participate in the telecom committee. Samsung Techwin, Hyundai Heavy Industries and Doosan Heavy Industries will help on the machinery committee, and LG Chem, GS Caltex and SK Global Chemical will do the same on the chemicals committee.

The cooperation between the government and private sector is a hopeful sign for job seekers, who are suffering from a generally tough job market and major conglomerates and state-run enterprises changing their hiring systems frequently.

In order to encourage the private sector to hire without requiring excessive “specs” - good grades, program certificates, English training and overseas experience - the Labor Ministry developed the NCS guidelines in March and forced state-run enterprises to become the first to implement the system and prove its efficacy.

However, many experts and job seekers criticized the government’s unilateral push saying the guidelines may not match each company’s job expectations, and that they were not so effective because major conglomerates - which most people want to work for - don’t use the NCS system.

The participation of trade associations, in which many conglomerates are members, may bring those companies into the new system.

“The 11 human resources committees will be a turning point in which the government gives leadership to the private sector to manage the nation’s talent fostering policies,” said Labor Minister Lee Ki-kweon on Tuesday.

“I also hope the committees become breakthroughs in which the private sector discusses hot potato issues like [welfare conditions] for workers hired through subcontractors and outsourcing companies.”


BY KIM JI-YOON [kim.jiyoon@joongang.co.kr]

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