SEJONG, Nov. 30 (Korea Bizwire) – The South Korean government said Wednesday that it will expand a program to help young job seekers find jobs at small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) and create assets in a way to tackle the country’s high youth unemployment rate.
Under the program, which was initiated in April, an SME employee will be given a total of 12 million won after saving 3 million won for two years, with the employer and the government additionally paying 3 million won and 6 million won, respectively.
The plan was aimed at encouraging young job seekers to find a job in SMEs and help the companies fill their vacancies.
The Ministry of Strategy and Finance said it will give the benefit to 50,000 people, starting from next year, up from an original 10,000.
“The government will put its policy priority on the asset-boosting program to help youth settle into SMEs and build their assets,” Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho said in a ministerial-level meeting in Seoul. “About 50,000 youngsters will be enrolled in the program.”
Asia’s fourth-largest economy has been struggling with high unemployment rates for recent years due mainly to a protracted slowdown.
Its jobless rate has been hovering at around 3.5 percent for nearly a year, but the unemployment rate for young people aged between 15 and 29 hit an all-time high of 12.5 percent in February.
The top economic policymaker said that the government will give incentives to companies which offer higher maternity protection to their female workers.