Hyundai jobs plan to focus on the young, marginalized

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Hyundai jobs plan to focus on the young, marginalized

Hyundai Motor Group launched a 34 billion won ($31.9 million) campaign on Thursday to create 3,000 new jobs among marginalized groups and young people by 2022.

“We plan to proactively create jobs and ease society’s polarization through collaborations with social enterprises,” said the automaker in a press release. “We will keep up with our social contributions to various demographics.”

Korea’s second-largest conglomerate’s move to step up its corporate social responsibility comes as its peers, including SK Group, try to curry favor with the labor-friendly Moon Jae-in administration, which has set chaebol reform as one of its key policy goals.

The bulk of Hyundai’s investment is going to Korea’s young people, who are facing a tough job market. H-ondream, a start-up contest run by Hyundai’s Chung Mong-koo Foundation, will pick 150 social enterprises and help them hire up to 1,250 young job seekers. Hyundai has hosted H-ondream since 2012, giving out as much as 100 million won to winners and offering them mentorship.

Hyundai also plans to create another 350 jobs for young people, including those with physical impairments, through joint ventures with its affiliates and other social enterprises.

The company also wants to give more job opportunities to women who have never had jobs or had their careers cut short due to pregnancy and child care. It will work together with the social enterprise Easy Life to hire women as workers at rehabilitation centers for older adults with Alzheimer’s disease or physical impairments.

Since Easy Life launched in 2007, Hyundai Motor has donated a total of 15 vehicles, including cars equipped with beds and wheelchair lifts, to the company and provided funding and free office space.

For 500 retirees in their 50s and 60s who are having a hard time finding post-career jobs, Hyundai will provide free training programs and match them with social enterprises in need of expertise.

Hyundai plans to continue to encourage small businesses by donating vehicles to them through its “gift car” campaign. The company has run its gift car program since 2010, donating a total of 316 cars.

Hyundai began focusing more on helping younger entrepreneurs between 20 and 34 in 2016, and plans to support North Korean defectors and single-parent and multi-ethnic households from this year on by donating an additional 250 cars.

BY SEO JI-EUN [seo.jieun@joongang.co.kr]

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