South Korea businesses worried about migrant workers

South Korea businesses worried about migrant workers

POCHEON, South Korea: South Korea plans to bring in around 110,000 migrant workers this year to work at its farms and factories, but some businesses believe that more will be needed to keep them running.

Many young South Koreans don't like jobs that are deemed dirty and dangerous, as these sectors are currently facing a labour shortage.

In a recent survey by the Korea Enterprises Federation, about 40 percent of the small and medium-sized enterprises surveyed said they did not think the government had fully grasped the scale of the problem.

They said that the 110,000 new foreign workers to be brought into the country this year are not enough to solve the labour gap.

Some South Korean farms and factories will be without employees without the help of these migrant workers, according to observers.

The owner of a greenhouse farm in Pocheon, about 41 km northeast of Seoul, said foreign workers are in demand.

Many foreign workers are needed. I also hire local workers during the busy farming season. They account for only about 20 per cent of all workers at our farm, said Mr Kim.

The remaining 80 per cent are foreign workers and agricultural products are produced by them. One Cambodian worker who has been working at the farm for about seven years said the job allows her to send $2,000 a month to the farm.

There are seven people in my family. My father is not around. She said that only my mother, brothers and sisters were affected.

I like it here. My room is beautiful and the boss is really nice. As South Korea grows increasingly dependent on migrant workers, the country's treatment of them has come under closer scrutiny.