KATHMANDU, JUNE 10: Over 35,000 Nepali jobseekers have attended a Korean language test on Saturday, the first day of examinations held under the Employment Permit System (EPS) to select potential candidates for jobs in South Korea. About half of some 75,580 applicants for the test are scheduled to sit for the language examination on Sunday.
“Though the exact number of examinees has not yet come out, we believe half the applicants sat for the examination today. The remaining applicants will attend the exams tomorrow,” Sobhakar Bhandari, section officer at the EPS section of the Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE) told Republica.
The examination was conducted at 26 different centers in Kathmandu and Lalitpur, according to DoEF.
Passing the language test is mandatory for those seeking to work in South Korea. However, passing the language test alone might not actually land a job as the aspirants also need to meet all the criteria set by the Human Resource Department of the Republic of Korea.
“The Korean government hopes to select a maximum of 10,200 candidates from this examination. Successful candidates will be listed in the job roster from where employers will eventually pick them,” Bhandari said.
Korea is one of the most sought after job destinations for Nepali youths because of a fair and transparent recruitment process, low costs, relatively better wages and other facilities. Nepali workers earn a minimum of Rs 150,000 in South Korea irrespective of the nature of the work.
Tens of thousands of Nepali youths, both men and women, apply for the EPS Korean language examination every year. DoFE records show that a total of 75,607 job aspirants have applied for the language test this year, a significant increase from last year’s figure of 61,637.
Notwithstanding a growing craze for work opportunities in South Korea among Nepali youths, the demand for workers is very low. South Korea has so far hired 34,862 Nepalis since fiscal year 2007/2008, according to DoFE. The north Asian country started hiring Nepali youths under EPS system in July, 2007.
DoFE officials said that the South Korean job quota for 2018 is likely to see a significant rise. The South Korean authorities have pledged to hire 10,200 Nepalis in 2018, three times more than they hired in 2017.