SEOUL, Nov. 30 (Korea Bizwire) — More people are breaking traditional social preference for office jobs to work in the blue-collar sector.
A YouTube video by a 20-year-old South Korean female forklift operator working in Australia via the working holiday program has recently gone viral as she has been earning 5 million won (US$4,200) per month.
Other stories about a graduate from a prestigious university working as a paperhanger, a 20-year-old bus driver, construction manager and “haenyeo” (female divers) are being heard throughout the country.
The younger generation is giving positive feedback about blue-collar jobs.
“I feel more accomplished to be doing something that not many others do, and being a technician is something of a life-time job,” said Hwang Da-in, a 20-year-old college student.
Experts point to structural shifts in the labor market, employment crisis, and different perceptions between the young and the old as primary factors that led the younger generation to be enamoured with the blue-collar sector.
“University graduates have been struggling to enter the job market as it narrowed into limited types of jobs. The blue-collar sector has become a niche market for them as seniors are beginning to retire,” said Lim Woon-taek, a sociology professor at Keimyung University.
“Higher incomes in the blue-collar sector have also helped boost demand.”
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)