Moon stresses hiring, educating young workers to conglomerate chiefs
President Moon Jae-in stressed the importance of hiring young people and nurturing their talents at a luncheon meeting with conglomerate leaders at the Blue House on Monday.
Moon met with the leaders of six major conglomerates — Samsung, KT, LG, SK, Posco and Hyundai — and thanked them for their participation in a government-led youth employment project.
These conglomerates took part in the public-private “Youth Hope ON” project to create jobs for young people, where companies hire and educate new talents, while the government covers training costs. Government ministries jointly launched the program in August under the supervision of the Prime Minister’s Office’s Youth Policy Coordination Committee.
Moon asked conglomerates to “be a strong force so that the youth do not sink as a lost generation due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” emphasizing that growing young talent is the “surest investment for a business.”
The participants were Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, Hyundai Motor Chairman Euisun Chung, SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won, LG Chairman Koo Kwang-mo, Posco Chairman Choi Jeong-woo and KT Chairman Ku Hyeon-Mo.
These companies pledged to create some 179,000 jobs over the next three years to provide employment opportunities for young people.
Moon expressed gratitude to the conglomerates for “making an excellent decision” through their job creation pledges and called the “Youth Hope ON” project a “win-win strategy for young people and companies.”
He said, “Korea, despite its small territory and scarce natural resources, has been able to rise to the ranks of advanced countries thanks to its well-educated, excellent talents and abundant human resources.”
Moon said that the government has made efforts to create quality jobs and nurture talents needed by companies through institutionalized education, but added that “companies can do better in educating and training to nurture the talent necessary for the brilliantly rapid digital transformation and technological development of today.”
He stressed, “Our young people use digital technology better than anyone in the world,” noting, “If you create opportunities, they can develop into global talents.”
Moon said, “I hope that businesspeople will be a strong force so that young people do not sink into a generation lost due to the coronavirus.”
The luncheon marked Moon's first encounter with Samsung’s Lee since his release from prison on parole in August. Lee had been imprisoned for bribing former President Park Geun-hye in return for political favors and had been released according to the annual tradition of government clemency for Liberation Day on Aug. 15.
Moon noted that 75 percent of graduates of the Samsung Software Academy for Youth (SSAFY), an education program providing coding training for youths, have gone on to work at 597 companies.
He added that other conglomerates including SK hynix, LG, Posco, Hyundai Motor and KT have also run similar training programs to produce talents.
Moon said the government will also work to encourage more companies, including small- and medium-sized ones, to participate in the “Youth Hope ON” project.
“Our youths have the passion and urgency to dream of a better future, and they have an international sensibility and perspective,” he said. “If the government and businesses open the way and create opportunities, they will lead changes in the global economy.”
Park Kyung-mee, the Blue House spokesperson, said in a briefing Monday that Moon discussed with business leaders issues such as vaccine production and stabilization of the supply chain.
Lee stressed the importance of telecommunications and development of 6G networks, she added.
BY SARAH KIM [email@example.com]