ISSUE Youth being neglected in the labor market
The most affected by the COVID-19 issue regarding employment would be the youth. Though being the most productive age group, the youth are faced with a high unemployment rate, and this is expected to continue for the present as the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t subsided yet. The issue isn’t confined to the labor market alone. As youth unemployment intensifies, it triggers a chain reaction. Young people put off and delay getting married and having children, which is more likely to accelerate population ageing — another severe issue in Korean society.
According to a survey conducted in May by the Korean Statistical Information Service (KOSIS), the unemployment rate of youth (ages 15 to 29) recorded 10.2 percent, and the number of unemployed youth reached 426,000, the highest among all age groups. The Economically Active Population Survey of Statistics Korea stated that as of May 2020, youth unemployment rate* was the highest among the record of each May since 1982.
*Youth Unemployment Rate: The proportion of unemployed persons among the economically active population of ages 15 to 29.
The unemployment rate in the first half of 2020 recorded 7.7 percent, with 320,000 unemployed persons. Compared with these figures, the number of unemployed youth has increased by more than 100,000, and the unemployment rate a sharp increase of nearly 3 percent. For the many youth job seekers, this 10 percent figure is bound to seem much more enormous.
The best solution for companies to resolve youth unemployment would be to expand the company’s employment through growth. However, with the global economy facing an economic slowdown, and the recent COVID-19 issue, the limits of this method for the company has become apparent.
SOLUTION 1. POSCO’s Practical Support: POSCO Youth Dream
POSCO customized training programs for job seekers. The objective was to provide real-life business knowledge and practical experience that could be of practical help in the workplace. POSCO also paid careful attention to help youth explore their careers and realize their dreams.
POSCO’s ‘AI & Big Data Academy,’ and the ‘Incubating School for Startups’ are all results of POSCO’s endeavor. The ‘POSCO Employment Academy’ enables trainees to enhance both basic and problem-solving skills, while the ‘AI & Big Data Academy’ cultivates expert professionals in engineering and technologies. The ‘Incubating School for Startups’ supports entrepreneurs towards establishing successful start-ups. POSCO has integrated the three training programs into a single name, POSCO Youth Dream, and has successfully branded the program as its own. The program, completed with POSCO’s existing resources — including POSTECH and POSCO Group University — is already making huge strides. As of 2019, a total of 1,108 job seekers have received training through the program, and 302 trainees (27%) succeeded in finding a job or starting a business. POSCO intends to train 5,500 job seekers over the next five years by 2023.
Young people who want to get a job or want to get help from POSCO as a prospective entrepreneur can take a closer look at the program chart below and apply now. Applications can be made through the website.
SOLUTION 2. Youth Hope Sharing — A Program That Benefits Both Job Seekers and Partner Companies
POSCO has been running the ‘Youth Hope Sharing’ program for 15 years. The program provides systematic training from basic and practical skills that are needed in the workplace to the mindset required for engineers. Since the training program is field-oriented, trainees learn directly from experts who have worked in the field for a long time, thus growing familiar with field terms and know-hows.
On completing the program, trainees are credited with job matching opportunities at POSCO partner companies, and the employment rate of trainees since 2005 stands at 95 percent. In 2019, out of 207 trainees, 167 (81%) succeeded in getting jobs at SMEs and partner companies.
As trainees enhance their skills within the two months training period and succeed in obtaining a job, it leads to the growth in the partner companies’ capabilities as well, thus creating a circulation structure.
l POSCO youth dream support continues in 2020
In response to the voices of the youth, POSCO promises to provide programs that will enable youth job seekers and prospective entrepreneurs to advance towards their dreams. POSCO believes that its endeavor to help resolve problems facing society will serve as a foundation for its role as a Corporate Citizen.
For outstanding participants of the ‘AI Big Data Academy,’ POSCO is offering an employment opportunity at POSCO and POSCO ICT. From the second half of the year, POSCO plans to provide job matching programs for those trainees who have completed the ‘Practical Corporate Employment Education’ and are interested in POSCO partner companies and suppliers. POSCO is supporting the many different dreams and visions of the youth through its various programs.
POSCO’s training program for youth job seekers and entrepreneurs was postponed earlier this year due to the COVID-19 issue, but starting from May, they have been resumed gradually. More details can be found on related websites.