Gov’t reveals plan to help seniors find jobsThe Presidential Committee on Job Creation announced its plans to introduce and extend a range of benefits intended to help older people continue to work into their 60s in an attempt to combat the economic impact of Korea’s aging population.
The plan is focused on not only helping those over 65 find a job, but also enhancing the infrastructure that would help older job-seekers find more varied opportunities, including starting their own business, farming, fishing and actively participating in social projects.
The goal is to help these people enter the job market easily even after retirement.
Korea’s aging population has been a major economic concern as a shrinking working population threatens the country’s potential growth.
The number of people between the ages of 50 and 69 has been increasing rapidly. Almost a decade ago, that age group accounted for 18 percent of Korea’s population. In 2015 it had increased to 25.5 percent and in 2025 it is expected to account for one third of the population, or 31.5 percent.
There have been growing demands that businesses need to employ more women who have quit their jobs due to marriage and raising a family as well as older people who, unlike in the past, are more healthy and active.
Until now these older people were considered a subject of welfare.
One of the key changes is to provide unemployment benefits to even those that are 65 years old or older. Additionally, job preparation-related subsidies that were previously provided only to lower-income households will be expanded to apply to senior citizens seeking jobs. The subsidies include funding for training, both when applying for jobs and when starting in a new position.
Leading conglomerates will also be required to provide job-related services including consultation, job training and job searches for former employees.
The government is using the Korea Labor Foundation to provide similar services to former employees of SMEs and those that worked at industrial complexes.
Another noticeable policy is the introduction of a system where employees can request a reduction in their working hours so that they can take the time to prepare to move to another company. This is intended to help employees avoid having to take a break between jobs.
The government has also come up with measures to help those that have fallen into the lower income bracket after a business that they created after retirement fails.
The government plans to create a system that provides information on commercial districts including areas that are saturated with a specific type of business and the prospects in different areas.
With the information the government will highlight areas that have an excessive number of similar self-employed businesses.
BY KIM KI-CHAN, LEE HO-JEONG [firstname.lastname@example.org]
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