CLA to adjust quotas of foreign workers by sector


Wed, Jan 17, 2001 - Page 2

The Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) will control the number of foreign laborers allowed to work in Taiwan and approve quotas of foreign laborers according to the needs of various industrial sectors, Chen Chu (陳菊), chairwoman of the the CLA, said yesterday.

Chen made the remarks at a year-end press conference, during which she reviewed the performance of the CLA over the past year.

Chen said that the CLA will review its foreign labor policy this March, after considering domestic economic developments, the job market and the available labor force in various industries.

The CLA has been trying to reduce the number of foreign laborers, currently at more than 320,000, to around 300,000. It announced last year that it hoped to cut the number of foreign laborers by 15,000 each year.

Chen said that any job that can be filled by a local worker should be given to that worker rather than a foreigner. She noted that the high-tech industry will be the focus of future development, and that the CLA will pitch in more money to nurture qualified domestic high-tech workers.

Some scholars have pointed out that the right to introduce foreign laborers is currently linked to the amount that a firm invests. They say the system favors high-tech firms over traditional industries, which have a serious shortage of workers and cannot get the cheap foreign laborers they need.

Chen explained future quotas for foreign laborers will be approved in view of the needs of various industrial sectors, rather than a company's investment amount.