SEJONG, Nov. 7 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korean companies have reduced efforts to train and educate their employees, leading to the first fall in the proportion of workers getting such benefits, data showed Tuesday.
As of the end of August this year, 56.7 percent of corporate employees received education and training for their work, down 0.3 percentage point from the same period last year, according to Statistics Korea. The number is the lowest since the agency began to keep the relevant records in 2007.
The respondents were asked if they received work-related enhancement training over the last one-year period.
In 2007, more than 20 percent of the workers engaged in programs to refine their skills. The number increased about 4 percentage points every year since before dropping for the first time this year.
The rate for permanent workers was 62.6 percent, the same as last year. For nonregular employees, the rate fell 1.2 percentage points to 44.4 percent.
Corporate watchers say such shrinkage bucks government efforts to nurture human resources fit for the fourth industrial revolution. Tax records show that South Korea’s corporate earnings last year reached an all-time high of 116.1 trillion won (US$104.17 billion).
“Reducing training and education could mean that companies are saving their financial resources,” Prof. Kim Jung-sik of Yonsei University said. “Considering the fourth industrial revolution and other conditions at present, increasing training and education is correct.”