Both sides reconfirm support in sending Lao workers to Korea 

Labour authorities of Laos and the Republic of Korea have reconfirmed their commitment to ongoing cooperation following the two countries’ agreement on the Employment Permit System.
This was the message at a workshop in Vientiane yesterday attended by Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Mr Bounkhong Lasoukanh and Representative of the Human Resources Development Service of Korea (HRD Korea), Mr Seo Sungyoul along with participants from both nations.
Under the Employment Permit System EPS-TOPIK, suitably qualified Lao workers are able to gain employment in South Korea.
Following the agreement in 2016, an estimated 500 people annually can be selected to go to Korea after passing a skills test which is administered by HRD Korea.
Speaking at the meeting to review the Lao-Korean cooperation, Mr Bounkhong highlighted the successful efforts of Lao labour authorities in working with Korea on skills development including sending skilled workers to the Republic of Korea after the two countries signed their agreement.
“Since then, Laos and Korea have exchanged information and experiences in making and updating legislation regarding labour issues including skills development, competency testing, employment promotion and labour market information,” he said.
“Korean experts have shared experiences in issues of labour, particularly regulations on skills development, skills testing, and employment promotion,” he added.
He noted that Laos and Korea still needed to improve information dissemination regarding work in Korea because some target groups still could not access it. Director of Laos’ Employment Service Centre (ESC), Mr Khamsene Xayavong reported on the progress of their activities including a review of the agreement between the two countries. He said Laos and Korea have cooperated since 2016 to assist the immigration process including the issuance of visas for HRD Korea staff and others involved in the scheme. The agreement outlines the duties and requirements in support of cooperation between the two sides for the smooth conducting of the Point System (EPS-TOPIK, skills test, and competency test), he said. The system is seen as a good choice for Lao workers because they will receive a reasonable income and be able to develop their skills and gain experience in Korea that will enable them to contribute to socio-economic development when they return to Laos.
According to the ministry, Laos is ranked seventh in Asean for the number of workers sent to Korea under the Employment Permit System with the top three being Vietnam with 55,795, the Philippines with 26,217, followed by Indonesia with 24,732 workers. For many years, Lao workers have sought jobs in other countries, particularly Thailand.

By Phetphoxay Sengpaseuth
(Latest Update December 7, 2018)