During a Khmer New Year visit to South Korea, Labour Minister Ith Samheng on Monday signed a $3.1 million agreement with his South Korean counterpart to empower Cambodia’s public employment services over the next four years.
Joined by Cambodians living and working in South Korea, Mr Samheng met with South Korea’s Labour Minister, Kim Young Joo, to discuss workforce cooperation between the two countries.
Mr Samheng said that the four-year project entitled Development Employment and Labour Market Information System by WorkNet in Cambodia will assist the South Korean government.
The South Korean government is pledging $3.1 million that will be spent in the course of three phases until 2021.
Mr Samheng said South Korea will equip and install software to provide training for the National Employment Agency in Cambodia in order to make it easier for Cambodians to find a job as part of the first phase.
“The focus will be on studying each other’s public employment service systems,” he said.
He added that the second phase is expected to be started between 2019 and 2020 with an estimated budget of $2.7 million.
The second phase will install technical equipment and software to create a labour service system and market information by WorkNet.
The third phase is going to start in 2021 and will focus on technical transfer, monitoring and evaluation.
During his visit to South Korea, Mr Samheng also appealed to all Cambodians living and working in South Korea to continue to respect South Korean laws, take care of their health and try learning vocational skills.
“When the working contract is finished, please go back to our country,” he said. “Do not continue to live here illegally.”
There are about 54,000 Cambodians currently working in South Korea and 4,000 more are being requested this year by the South Korean government.
Cambodian workers in South Korea earn about $1,200 per month working in the agriculture sector. In the industrial sector, Cambodians can earn up to $1,800 per month.
Annually, Cambodians working in South Korea send about $300 million back to relatives in Cambodia.