SEOUL, Jun. 28 (Korea Bizwire) — Employment as a translator or language instructor top the list of preferred jobs for foreign spouses living in South Korea, a new report has revealed.
According to the report on multicultural families released by researcher Lee Nam-cheol at the Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training (KRIVET), over half of the 203 respondents who are foreign spouses said they want to pursue a career in the field of either translation or language education in the future.
In the meantime, nearly 13 percent chose hair dresser, wedding planner, caddy or a restaurant worker as their preferred job.
The report also found nearly one in four respondents who are married to a South Korean spouse and living in South Korea was unemployed.
The reasons widely cited for their unemployment included ‘child rearing’, ‘lack of job opportunity’, and ‘lack of Korean proficiency’.
Half of the respondents said they have received job training in the past, particularly in the fields of cooking and cosmetology, as well as in computer science and information and communications.
When asked about job training programs, over half said a lack of time and information is a problem, while just over 26 percent said the training fees can be expensive.
Foreign spouses seeking employment think the government needs to do more to create job opportunities, training programs and Korean language education, the report found.
Along with the survey, Lee conducted in-depth interviews with 22 foreign nationals from the Philippines, Vietnam, China, Japan and Mongolia who are marriage immigrants to South Korea, to discuss the challenges and difficulties facing them.
While many believed their poor Korean communication skills and lack of proof of academic credentials led to unemployment, those living in the country said lack of access to transportation makes commuting to job training centers extremely difficult.
“Though foreign spouses are eager to find employment, many of them have difficulty doing so. As financial difficulties can have a negative impact on relationships and child upbringing, a database, various job training schemes as well as an effective counseling system need to be established to help ease pressure,” Lee said.
Hyunsu Yim (email@example.com)