The Korea Employment Permit System ( EPS ) in Nepal is planning to conduct the Korean Language Test, a measure mandatory for aspirants for eligibility in Korea jobs, in August. The test is expected to select 8,200 new candidates interested to work in Korea.

Lee Dong Sirk, human resource director at the Korea EPS centre in Nepal, said the language test was postponed at the request of the Nepal government which is worried that the test might affect those who are already on the roster.

“We will fix the date after consultation with the labour minister and senior government officials. Let me make it clear that the new examination will not affect those on the roster,” said Lee.

Passing the language test is not the sole eligibility for a job in Korea. Successful candidates will be put on the roster from which employers will select workers.

Korea has announced to recruit Nepali workers in manufacturing, agriculture and livestock sectors this year.

Meanwhile, the South Korean Human Resource Department has allocated 5,900 job quotas for 2013. Under the EPS system, South Korea has been recruiting workers from 15 countries including Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Sir Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and China. Only those passing the language test earlier will qualify for the selection process.

“We have given work permits to 2,804 workers and 1,598 have entered Korea. The quota is the fifth largest on the basis of the number of workers to be recruited,” said Lee.

Of late, the number of Nepali workers working illegally in South Korea is on the rise. The data for January show Nepali workers are the second biggest group to be working illegally in the country after Vietnamese.

“South Korean government will slash the workers’ quota by a huge margin if the trend persists,” warned Lee. He said that returnees can reenter South Korea after passing special Korean language test if they have a good track record.

“The government can even give another visa to honest workers. If the employers demand these workers, they don’t need to take orientation classes, language test or training in Korea,” he said. Director Lee added the EPS Center has started a special programme on ABC Television to help aspirants learn the Korean language.

South Korea is considered an affordable and lucrative destination for Nepali migrant workers where one can earn up to $1,000 monthly.-Ekantipur


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