KATHMANDU, June 30: Only about 10.7 percent of the total applicants who sat for the Korean Language Test (KLT) conducted under the Employment Permit System (EPS) of South Korea, have made it through. Out of the total 74,866 applicants, only 7,996 passed the test conducted on June 9 and 10, for 7,100 jobs for Nepalis in South Korea in 2019.
“The threshold for passing the test was 184 for manual labor in the industrial sector and 180 for labor in the agriculture sector,” spokesperson for EPS, Korea Section under the Department of Foreign Employment, Shobhakar Bhandari explained, “Everyone who matched the threshold had to be passed.”
According to Bhandari, all 7,996 applicants who passed the test will be eligible to apply for jobs in South Korea. “Earlier, the South Korean government had issued a notice, seeking to hire at least 7,100 labors,” he said.
Bhandari also said that some applicants who passed the test may not be able to go to South Korea this year. “The test results are valid for two years,” he said, adding, “Therefore, it should not be considered a problem. Those passing the test will be eligible for jobs in S Korea for two years.” According to the records maintained by the section, more than 5,600 people who passed the test six months ago have already received their contracts and more than 5,000 of them have already flown to South Korea.
The South Korean government is also preparing to introduce a skill test for Nepali migrant workers who are selected under EPS along with the existing language proficiency test from 2020. “The South Korean government is actually in need of manual labor,” Bhandari said, “Therefore, a skill test had to be included as the requirement for employment.” Under the new provision, the skill test will cover 20 percent of the total score under the Industrial Category and 30 per cent of the total score under the Agriculture Category. The remaining scores will be covered by the usual language test.
Sixteen examination centers had been chosen in Kathmandu, eight in Lalitpur, and four in Pokhara for the test which was the ninth in its series. Of the 7,100 actually required by the South Korean government, some 4,800 were to be employed in the production sector and the remaining in the agriculture sector. The South Korean government had asked for 10,200 workers in 2018 and 3,100 in 2017.