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Korean government lays out measures to boost youth employment Updated: 2014-04-16 06:28:23 KST

Here, students can develop specialized skills that are in high demand in the robot industry.
Baek Seong-joon, who's in his first year of this so-called meister school or vocational school, aims to get a job right after graduation.

"I think I can easily adapt to the business atmosphere and learn a lot about the industry."

There are around 40 vocational schools in Korea, but the curriculum is slightly different from the European-style apprenticeship program, where students learn and train while they work.

"Now the government aims to develop an apprenticeship program like that of Germany or Switzerland in these schools so students can receive direct training from companies more frequently."

The plan starts next year at seven trial schools and companies participating in the programs will receive tax breaks.
Those were part of the government's measures laid out on Tuesday to tackle the nation's slumping youth employment rate.

"The weak youth employment rate means young people are losing the opportunity to raise their labor competitivness by working. It's also a factor that could erode the nation's growth potential."

The measures are meant to address a flagging youth employment rate, which stood at 39.7 percent last year far below the OECD average of 50 percent.
The problem is that the nation's small and medium-sized businesses are also struggling with a labor shortage.
With the nation's high college entrance rate, most young people want to work for large companies like Samsung and Hyundai.

"Government measures should focus on improving working conditions of small and medium-sized businesses and raising awareness of SMEs among the younger generation."

Through these measures, the government expects to create 500-thousand jobs by 2017.
Progress will be reviewed during a weekly economy-related ministers' meeting.
Hwang Ji-hye, Arirang News.


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