|Labor experts and members of the Korea Federation of SMEs hold a policy debate on foreign employment at the federation's headquarters in Seoul, Thursday. Courtesy of Korea Federation of SMEs|
By Lee Hae-rin
Labor experts called for refinement of the policy on foreign workers to supplement their residence qualification and duration of stay, in response to the country's low birth rate and aging population, during a debate on foreign employment policies held by the Korea Federation of SMEs at its headquarters in Seoul, Thursday.
"The country's demographic change could intensify to a labor shortage and rapid aging of the working population could lead to a decrease in labor productivity," said panel speaker Lee Kyu-yong, a senior researcher at the Center for Labor Statistics Research of the Korea Labor Institute.
As a solution to these risk factors, Lee called for improvements to foreign labor management policies, to extend the workers' length of stay and offer more diverse occupational training levels and forms of employment.
Noh Young-jin, a professor of Business Administration at Seoul National University of Science and Technology, who was another panel speaker at the event, emphasized the need for vocational training and agreed that the duration of their stay should be extended to enable them to become more proficient.
Lee Young, the head of the Migrant Welfare Center in Namyangju, Gyeonggi Province, said "Under the Constitution's principle of freedom in employment, foreign workers should be granted the right to change their workplaces and lengthen the duration of their stay here for employment activity."