A record high of over 3,600 Bangladeshi workers are likely to be admitted to Korea this year through the Employment Permit System (EPS), according to the Dhaka EPS Center of the Human Resources Development Service of Korea.
With 2,594 Bangladeshis already employed in the country in the last seven months of 2022, now the South Korean government plans to allocate over 1,000 additional quotas for Bangladeshi workers through the EPS to meet increasing demand in the country.
If things go according to plan, the total employed will be the highest since the start of Korea's EPS programme in Bangladesh in 2008, read a press release of the South Korean Embassy in Dhaka on Wednesday.
Earlier in 2010, a highest of 2,691 Bangladeshi workers went to the country through the EPS.
Online registration is open between the 3rd and 5th August 2022 for Special Re-entry EPS workers to go to Korea, read the release.
Also, the Korean Language Test for registered candidates will be held in September 2022.
Besides, Korea is now considering giving a special chance to take a general Korean language test to around 7,000 selected candidates who are fluent in the language.
The new process may start in September 2022.
The South Korean government has been recruiting medium- and low-skilled foreign workers from 16 selected countries, including Bangladesh, through the EPS.
After a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the two governments, the Bangladesh Overseas Employment and Services Limited (BOESL) has been sending Bangladesh expatriate workers to Korea since 2008.
More than 23,400 Bangladesh workers have been dispatched to Korea through the EPS system till April this year.
Bangladeshis are engaged as industrial labourers in the country getting minimum monthly salary of $1200, according to the embassy officials.
According to the Bangladesh Bank, the remittance inflow from Bangladeshi workers in Korea amounted to $209.16 million in FY 2020/21 which made Korea the thirteenth major source of expatriate workers' remittance. Korea ranked 12th in FY 2019/20 with $177.84 million.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the South Korean government suspended admitting foreign EPS workers from March 2020 until November 2021.
After the pandemic cooled both in Korea and Bangladesh, the Korean government resumed taking the workers from December 2021 under strict quarantine measures before their departure from Bangladesh and after arrival in Korea.
Recognising the BOESL's contribution to the Korea-Bangladesh people-to-people exchange by equipping EPS workers to become suitable for their employment in Korea, Korean Ambassador to Dhaka Lee Jang-keun said that the embassy and the EPS Dhaka Center will work closely with BOESL not only to increase the number of workers and diversify the areas of their employment but also to prepare more qualified workers.
Korea's EPS system and foreign worker policies were highly recognised by the International Labor Organization (ILO) as it ensures high level of salaries, equal labor rights and four-category-insurance of employment insurance, industrial accident compensation insurance, national pension, and national health insurance.