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Development Overview

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Overview of Korea’s development experience

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Development Overview
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Social Infrastructure

Technical assistance for vocational training from Germany

1. Background
 
The start of the decades of development in Korea and with them the Korean government’s ambitious economic development plans saw demand for skilled technicians and workers soar nationwide. The Second Five-Year Economic Development Plan estimated that 242,000 skilled technical human resources would be needed to complete its projects, and that additional resources would be required for the vocational training of 120,000 among them. Expanding technical and vocational training facilities nationwide became ever more urgent by the Third Plan, carried out between 1972 and 1976, which required an even greater number of skilled workers.

As part of pursuing its Second Plan announced in 1965, the Korean government invited Edgar C. McVoy, a human resource development specialist from the United States, to investigate the state of human resource development in Korea. In his report McVoy, seeing that Korean at the time had not much in the way of vocational training aside from vocational high schools, emphasized the need for establishing an efficient national vocational training system in Korea and for increasing the national capacity in the country for implementing such a system.[1] Korean policymakers accepted this assessment and set out to develop and implement new vocational training methods and facilities.

The only modern vocational training institute in Korea at the time was the Central Vocational Training Institute (CVTI), created by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) with technical assistance from the International Labor Organization (ILO). Finding itself in great need for more international aid, the Korean government began to seek greater cooperation with Germany in the mid-1960s, beginning with the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Korea and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany Regarding Technical Cooperation, signed in 1966.[2] The agreement led to the establishment of the Busan Vocational Training Institute (BVTI, currently the East Busan Campus of Korea Polytechnic VII), with Germany’s help, from 1970 to 1975. It also engendered other subsequent projects of technical cooperation throughout the decades of development, including vocational training consulting in 1976, the establishment of the Changwon Campus of Korea Polytechnic VII in 1979, and an additional project in 1994. Korea actively sought assistance from Germany for vocational training because it had witnessed how Japan had earlier achieved successful industrialization based on the German model.
Korea-Germany cooperation actually began in the early 1960s when Koreans were sent to Germany to work in that country’s nursing and mining industries.[3] Such ties were strengthened when Korea began to look for financial and technical assistance for its development projects outside the United States, since Washington had begun to decrease its foreign aid at a time when Korea actually required more. Korea thus turned to Germany, which would go on to provide major development assistance for Korea early on following only the United States.
 
 
2. Progress
 
The German government provided active support for developing Korea’s vocational training capacity through a series of related projects. As the main donor behind these projects, Germany imparted its advanced vocational training system and standards to Korea through advising and other projects. It also helped to introduce the industrial master craftsman system and the university-industry cooperation system.
 
  <Main projects of technical cooperation>
 
 
  1. Establishment of BVTI
  • March 1967: Release of a joint declaration by the presidents of Korea and Germany regarding the establishment of a training institute upon German President Heinrich Lubke’s visit.
  • May 1967: The two governments sign the Agreement on the Establishment of BVTI, entailing support from Germany amounting to USD 1.3 million.
  • June 1871: Construction of the BVTI begins.
  • September 1972: Certified technician training begins.
  • March 1973: Korea-Germany agreement expands in scope to include the support of facility support fees, technical advising services, and scholarships.
  • October 1973: Training institute opens.
  • October 1982: Vocational training center opens in Dongrae.
  • 2000: Training institute relocates to Gijang County, Busan.
 
    2. Establishment of the Changwon Campus of Korea Polytechnic VII
  • November 1979: The two governments sign the Agreement on the Establishment of the Changwon Industrial Masters College.
  • August 1986: Korea receives a proposal from Germany regarding the introduction of the industrial master craftsman system, and Korea sends written response in return.
 
    3. Advising Projects
  • September 1966: The two governments sign the Korea-Germany Technical Cooperation Agreement (Treaty No. 233).
  • January 1976 to August 1978: Germany provides expert advice on the seven new vocational training institutes to be set up in Korea with loans from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).
  • September 1978 to December 1983: Germany provides technical and other forms of assistance for the creation of IBRD-loan-based vocational training institutes and for the Department of Industrial Electronics at the BVTI.
  • January 1984 to December 1986: Germany provides assistance for introducing the university-industry cooperation system and for operating the Department of Industrial Electronics at BVTI.
  • August 1986: Korea receives a proposal from Germany regarding a vocational training advising project (regarding the industry-university cooperation system and the opening of the Department of Molding at the BVTI, January 1987 to December 1988).
  • September 1987: The two governments reach an agreement on additional advising projects upon the visit by Germany’s Assistant-Deputy Minister of Economic Cooperation (regarding the establishment of a trainer development institute, etc., January 1989 to December 1990).
  • October 1992: The two governments sign the agreement on vocational training advising (for final and comprehensive support, 1991 to 1993).

    4. Assistance after 1994
  • October 1994: Germany continues to provide technical advice and other forms of support, based on another agreement that divides the cost between the two countries.
 
[1] A 10-Year History of Labor Administration, Ministry of Labor, 1972, pp. 201-202.
[2] Signed on August 26, 1966, and entered into force on February 13, 1967 (Treaty No. 233).
[3] The governments of the two countries had already exchanged the Notes Concerning the Joint Establishment of a Skilled Workers School between the Government of the Republic of Korea and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany on March 18, 1961, and signed the Protocol Concerning Economic and Technical Cooperation between the Government of the Republic of Korea and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany in December that year.

Source: Korea International Cooperation Agency. 2004. Study on Development Aid and Cooperation for South Korea: Size, Scope and Exemplary Effects. Seoul.