South Korea joins the ranks of other countries with rapidly ageing populations and low birthrates who need skilled workers from abroad. The South Korean government announced that it would grant permanent residency to skilled manual workers from abroad in an effort to relieve labor shortages in small to medium sized industries.
South Korea also wishes to increase their industrial competitiveness and boost tax revenues with the new changes, expected to go into effect next January.
Currently, immigrant professionals are only eligible to live permanently in South Korea if they have five years of experience on top of other requirements. With this change, South Korea hopes to attract up to 4,000 skilled migrants by 2009.
An estimated 500,000 foreigners work in South Korea, however the country is having a difficult time filling positions. Other countries, such as those in the European Union, are experiencing much the same as people have fewer children and the population ages. Other ideas on the table include new legislation to ban companies from discriminating against the elderly looking for work.
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