Wed, Jan 19, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Council of Labor Affairs to launch ‘3K’ job subsidy

By Shelley Huang  /  Staff Reporter

In an effort to provide more incentives to unemployed Taiwanese to take up jobs that typically only foreign workers are willing to do, the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) is planning to issue monthly subsidies of between NT$3,000 and NT$5,000 to domestic workers who enter the “3K” industries.

Currently, about 187,000 foreigners are employed as industrial workers and mainly do jobs that are known as “3K” — that is dirty, dangerous and strenuous — because these jobs are difficult to fill with Taiwanese who prefer better working conditions. In the industrial sector, foreign workers are most common in traditional manufacturing areas, long in need of labor for tasks such as casting, printing and dyeing and metal forging.

Lin San-quei (林三貴), director-general of the council’s Bureau of Employment and Vocational Training, said that after the Lunar New Year, the council would launch a test-run of a program that would provide a NT$3,000 to NT$5,000 subsidy to workers who were unemployed, but then take a job in the “3K” industries. The council plans to make about 500 positions available to job seekers during the first wave of the test run.

Workers who work for a full month would be entitled to NT$3,000, and starting from the third full month, workers would receive NT$5,000 per month for a year, totaling a maximum subsidy worth NT$56,000 for the year, Lin said.

The director said that although the employee would no longer receive the subsidies after a year, the council expects that as the employee becomes more skilled and experienced, the employer would give such experienced workers raises so as to retain them, which would be beneficial to both sides.

The council also said that the goal of the program is to become less reliant on foreign workers in the nation’s “3K” industries.

Critics, however, remain skeptical of the council’s efforts, -saying that the program would not -effectively result in more Taiwanese working in the “3K” industries.

“Just because the workers want the job does not mean that the employer would hire them,” said Son Yu-lian (孫友聯), secretary-general of the Taiwan Labor Front.

“Employers will still prefer to hire foreign workers who are cheaper,” he said.

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