This study analyzes the problems of various institutions on employment and human resource development in general in Korea, with the goal of finding possible improvements to be made. Despite the growing importance of employment and human resource development in Korea, much of the laws and institutions in place have failed to outgrow the paradigm of the past economic development era. It is time that Korean policymakers brought the system up to date. As for increasing employment, we need to start our discussions on how to support small and medium manufacturers and how to increase employment among young people and women. Small and medium manufacturers consistently have difficulty finding the qualified and skilled workers they need. We need to solve this problem by enhancing the continuity between vocational education, training and qualification. We need also to establish a new national qualification system to help develop the human resource development network, and repair and reform the existing system for supporting the human resource development.
The unemployment problem among young people has been worsening since the middle of the 1980s mainly due to the absence of proper institutional and systemic support from the government, schools and businesses. Given the fact that the majority of young people in Korea are struggling to make the transition from school to work, we need to change the curriculum at public schools, enhance the applicability of the vocational and technical training they receive, the competitiveness of higher learning, the employment practice, the academic-industrial cooperation system, the job competency development system, the school-business networks and the mandatory military service system.
Rising unemployment among women is another serious problem in Korea. The structure of society in Korea fundamentally forbids women to cultivate lifetime careers by limiting their educational attainments and job-hunting opportunities. We can solve this problem in the following ways. First, high-school education and vocational training for women should be reformed. Second, vocational colleges and universities should be set up for women. Third, the employment services for women should be enhanced. Fourth, the costs women are to bear with respect to childbirth and childcare should be lowered. Fifth, the government should redefine its role as a main employer of women.
The Korean government needs to assess how the historic system of vocational training was formed and what roles it played through the economic development era, particularly analyzing the problems it has caused for government regulations and workforce planning. While the government ought to loosen regulations and even decentralize, it should also strengthen its support for extending the vocational training network and substructure to make sure the Korean economy will not be biased against growth in favor of balance. This study also provides recommendations regarding the reform of the higher education system and its relation to employment. This study predicts that the number of high-school graduates will increase dramatically by the 2000s, while universities need to outgrow their regulation-centered curriculum with the underlying assumption of excessive demand. As the Korean economy increasingly becomes knowledge-intense, fundamental improvement should be made to the quality of higher education that Koreans receive.
The supply-demand link should be reinforced by enhancing the network and partnership between vocational training schools and businesses. The Korean government should allow higher education institutions to decide the number of students they want to admit freely, develop a better environment of competition between universities and establish industrial-academic cooperation networks involving vocational training schools. The diverse stakeholders involved in policies on employment and human resource development, such as workers, the government, schools, training institutes, labor unions and a host of other organizations, should work more actively toward reaching a consensus and implement the suggestions made in this study.
고용대책과 인적자원개발(Employment policy and human resource development)
제도적 접근(An institutional approach)
|Series Title; No||연구보고서 / 96-10|
|Subject Country||South Korea(Asia and Pacific)|
|Subject||Social Development < Employment|
|Holding||KDI; KDI School|