Vietnamese seasonal workers earn high income in ROK

Monday, 2019-12-30 17:04:49
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Local labourers in the northern province of Ha Nam preparing documents before leaving for the ROK to work on a seasonal basis. (Photo: Ha Nam Newspaper)
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NDO – Vietnamese seasonal labourers working in the Republic of Korea (ROK) have earned high incomes ranging from VND80-100 million after only three months.

According to statistics from the Department of Overseas Labour (DoLAB) under Vietnam's Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA), nearly 800 Vietnamese guest labourers worked within a pilot programme for seasonal work in agriculture and fishery in the ROK under a cooperation between localities of the two countries. After only three months, the workers returned home having received a stable income of VND80-100 million for the three-month period.

DoLAB shared that the programme of sending Vietnamese seasonal workers to work in the ROK has been piloted for two years, starting from January 1, 2018.

The ROK has received foreign seasonal workers since 2017 to meet the needs of seasonal labour shortages in the field of agriculture and fishery at the request of its localities. This is a direct cooperation programme, implemented between the local authorities in the ROK and the locales in the labour supply countries. Foreign workers are granted a C4 visa, which is valid for three months, to perform seasonal work in agriculture and fisheries in the host nation.

Data from DoLAB showed that as of December this year, as many as 776 employees from five localities went to work in the ROK on a seasonal basis, including Da Nang (418 employees), Ha Nam (79 employees), Dong Thap (220), Thai Binh (44) and Binh Thuan (15).

After the pilot period, localities assessed that this is a practical programme, creating suitable job opportunities for local farmers and also facilitating experience and increasing income for them.

The Korean side also highly appreciated the effectiveness of the seasonal labour cooperation programme, thereby contributing to solving the agricultural labour shortage in the Korean localities. The cost for labourers to work under the programme ranges from VND20-30 million to pay preliminary compensation for Korean language, airfare, passport, visa, health examination and insurance.

During the implementation process, the Vietnamese localities have supported the workers in covering part of their costs, with capital sourced from the local budget. The local authorities also suggested that the programme should continue its activity after piloting to help disadvantaged labourers.

MOLISA Deputy Minister Le Van Thanh assessed that this is an effective channel to create suitable jobs abroad for Vietnamese agricultural workers, bringing practical benefits to the localities of both sides, especially in the context that the ROK is suffering shortage of labour in various fields, including seasonal labour. However, as this form of sending seasonal workers abroad has not been defined in Vietnamese law, the MOLISA will seek to add the new regulation on this field to the draft (amended) Law on Sending Vietnamese Workers Abroad Under Contracts. In the immediate future, the ministry will report to the Government for permission to continue piloting the programme until a legal document to be issued to officially recognise the activity.

The ROK is the second largest labour market for Vietnamese overseas workers, behind Japan only, attracting nearly 7,000 Vietnamese workers in the first 11 months of 2019.