Conglomerates launch job-training program

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Conglomerates launch job-training program

The holiday season is over, which means young people - particularly college graduates - have begun hunting for jobs.

Among the most sought-after positions are those at the country’s top conglomerates, and to give some job seekers a leg up, the Ministry of Employment and Labor has announced a new training program.

According to the ministry, the nation’s seven major conglomerates, including Hyundai Heavy Industries and Samsung, will recruit 1,200 people for a job training program named “stepping stone,” which will give job seekers a chance to learn the skills and techniques they will need for different work sites. The ministry said it will hold briefing sessions for the program at seven colleges, starting with Kyonggi University in Gyeonggi through Feb. 26. The sessions will also be attended by representatives from the human resources departments of the seven companies.

The ministry added that a total of 11 conglomerates and 17 state-run companies said they are willing to join the program. SK Group and Kakao have already begun similar job training programs on Jan. 4, while Samsung Electronics started its own on Jan. 11. Hyundai Motor began its program on Feb. 1.

“We expect the stepping stone program to provide a better chance of getting hired by companies, as it provides an opportunity to learn skills actually used on the job,” said Kwon Ki-sub, a spokesman of the Labor Ministry.

Separately from the program, the conglomerates have begun their actual hiring for this year. Hyundai Motor Group, which runs the nation’s auto giants Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors, has said it will likely hire 10,000 new regular full-time workers this year, about 500 more than last year.

The nation’s second-largest conglomerate announced last year that it will hire a total of 60,000 people until 2020 to boost the government’s initiatives to ease the youth unemployment problem. Hyundai said it will start receiving applications from March and will hold interview sessions in April. The final hiring decisions for the first half will come out in June.

“The number [of recruits] has not yet been decided, but it is true that we will hire more this year than we did last year,” said Hwang Kwan-sik, a spokesman for Hyundai Motor. “If we hire 10,000 regulars, it will be the first time a major conglomerate has done so in a year in the country’s history.”

SK Group, the nation’s third-largest conglomerate, is also expected to begin its hiring.

The company took on about 8,000 people last year, including both new and experienced workers, and will likely hire a similar number of people this year. The company will start receiving applications next month and will hold interview sessions in May.

The nation’s state-run companies and government agencies are expected to increase their hiring this year, but competition is predicted to be even tougher than in 2015 because the number of available positions at private companies is expected to decrease.

The Korea Railroad Corporation has said it will hire 700 people as interns between March and June this year. It expects to hire around 80 percent of the interns as full-time employees.

A total 16,698 people submitted applications for the position until the deadline on Monday.

BY KWON SANG-SOO [kwon.sangsoo@joongang.co.kr]

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