The Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) yesterday said it will adopt a light signal system as part of its system to manage foreign laborers in the country.
The council said it has commissioned National Taiwan University associate professor Hsin Ping-lung (辛炳隆) to establish a five-color system modeled on the one used by the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) to gauge the economic situation.
The CLA will set up the system based on indicators such as the labor shortage rate, unemployment, the foreign laborer absconding rate, the aging of society and the increase in domestic caregiver numbers.
Hsin said a green light will mean that the number of foreign laborers is at an acceptable level, while a red light will signal that the number of foreign laborers is increasing and should be cut. A blue light will signal an insufficient number of foreign laborers, while yellow-red and yellow-blue lights will warn that close attention needs to be paid to changes in the foreign laborer situation.
Chen Jui-chia (陳瑞嘉), a section chief of the CLA’s Vocational Training Center, said that the center hopes to provide a reference through the light system that can be used when formulating policy.
Chen also that said when local manufacturers employ foreign laborers, they should increase their hiring of domestic workers to balance the workforce.
According to CLA statistics, for every foreign worker hired by a domestic manufacturer, between 5.5 and 5.7 jobs should be offered to locals.
“It is incorrect to think that job opportunities for local workers are undermined as a result of the employment of foreign workers,” he said.
Media reports have noted that the number of foreign laborers has increased rapidly since Taiwan opened its doors to foreign workers two decades ago. The number of foreign workers stood at 440,000 this year, according to the latest CLA statistics.