A working holiday program is to be offered to young people from Southeast Asian nations to ease a labor shortage in the agricultural sector, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said.
Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand would be the first nations targeted by the program, the council said, adding that as the Vietnamese government is optimistic about the program, it expects collaborations to begin later this year.
The council is next week to invite officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Labor to discuss the plan, it said.
The foreign ministry has signed working holiday programs with 15 nations, including New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Japan and South Korea, but people from developed countries are less likely to visit Taiwan on a working holiday, council Deputy Minister Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) said.
Given that there are many Southeast Asian people married to Taiwanese or who already work in Taiwan, the council wants to prioritize agreements with Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand first, he added.
The working holiday program is to be open to applicants aged 20 to 45 for at least 180 days, which can be extended for one or two years, the council said.
Following the council’s preliminary planning, the foreign ministry will negotiate details with other nations, the council said.
However, visitors from Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand are considered at higher risk of overstaying their visas, council Personnel Office Executive Secretary Tsai Pei-chun (蔡佩君) said.
The council is to consider granting visas to those who have family in Taiwan first and allow them to apply for visa extensions, she said.
Given that the majority of the nation’s foreign spouses are Vietnamese, the program would offer about 300 places to Vietnamese, the council said, adding that the program would allow a maximum of 1,000 people from Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand.
The council hopes that negotiations with the countries will focus on job openings in the agricultural sector, she said, but added that applicants might be able to change jobs.
First-time visas are expected to be set at six months, and officials might ask those applying for visa extensions to present documentation showing that they have worked in the agricultural industry for at least three months, she said.
Agricultural businesses could consider retaining foreign workers who perform well while on their working holiday, and those with specialized skills are likely to earn up to NT$47,000 per month, she said.
The Nantou and Yunlin county governments have expressed an intention to open working holiday programs for family members of foreign spouses, Tsai said.
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
FEELING MISUNDERSTOOD: Media speculation has fueled confusion about the KMT’s reasons for skipping a Chinese forum and delaying an AIT meeting, party sources said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Sunday said that it is not seeking to improve relations with the US or China at the expense of the other, and that its relations with the countries would be topic-based. The party has faced questions over its foreign policy after it on Monday last week announced its withdrawal from the annual Straits Forum and delayed planned talks with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). The party has also taken a tough stance on the importation of US meat containing ractopamine, while also lambasting China for increasing its military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. Following
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up