Only 30% of interns get full-time job

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Only 30% of interns get full-time job

More than 70 percent of Korean public companies did not hire their interns as full-time employees, despite the government’s efforts to enhance national youth unemployment.

Korea’s 316 public organizations last year hired hundreds of interns as part of the Park Geun-hye administration’s job creation initiative to achieve a 70 percent national employment rate and lower the youth unemployment rate which is almost 10 percent.

However, data provided by Rep. Kim Kwan-young of New Politics Alliance for Democracy on Monday showed that the jobs that were created ended up being temporary jobs, with interns leaving the jobs after six months to a year.

“The government seems to be busy boosting numbers of youth employment performance, while never caring about the actual quality of these jobs,” Kim said at a parliamentary audit session on the Ministry of Strategy and Finance held at Sejong Government Complex on Monday.

“It is like repeating the former Lee Myung-bak administration’s employment policy that only mass-produced interns but no efforts to boost the numbers of full-time jobs have been shown.”

According to data submitted by the Finance Ministry to the national assembly, the 316 public organizations hired 13,979 interns last year. However, only 91 organizations actually hired 4,088 interns as full-time employees.

For instance, the National Health Insurance Service hired 601 interns and the National Pension Service hired 435 interns last year. None of the 1,036 interns were hired full-time.

Another lawmaker criticized state-run job-hunting assistance programs as often being irrelevant to finding employment, or they had no clear assistance target. Each ministry focused only on obtaining a larger budget from the Finance Ministry in the absence of proper policy evaluation system.

According to the Korea Institute of Public Finance’s report on the Finance Ministry’s data submitted to Rep. Shim Jae-cheol of ruling Saenuri Party, the government spent about 1.7 trillion won last year towards job creation-related policies for young college graduates, through 61 projects from 11 government ministries. However, only 560 billion won was spent on actual job-related programs, while the rest was used on other business projects at each organization.

Even if used on youth employment programs, much of those investments appeared to have gone to similar projects being carried out in multiple ministries, according to the institute’s report.

Nearly one-third of the government’s 19 flagship youth employment support projects appeared to be irrelevant to job creation and had no clear support targets, the report said.

The institute’s report assessed the Korean government’s job assistance programs as problematic in three ways: a wide mismatch between school curriculum and the workplaces’ employee training system; the lack of policy assessments after the budget was spent, which eventually leads each organization to focuses on the sheer numbers of projects to obtain more subsidy; and the lack of cooperation among ministries, resulting in overlapping programs and allocation of budget.

“The government should evaluate its policies first to make it more efficient and take stricter assessment on each project’s accomplishments,” Shim said.


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