South Korean workers need to learn how to work with machines

South Korea's labour minister urged employees to be more adaptable to work in a fast-changing and high-tech environment.
By: | April 16, 2021

South Koreans must learn how to work with machines if they want to thrive in a post-pandemic world where the nature of jobs will change, said the country’s labour minister.

“Not all jobs may be replaced by machines, but it’s important to learn ways to work well with machines through training,” said Lee Jae-kap, Minister of Employment and Labour, in an interview, Bloomberg reports.

He added that “automation and AI will change South Korea faster than other countries”.

While workers have to be more adaptable to work in a fast-changing and high-tech environment, policy makers will also need to provide support to enable them to switch job sectors and find ways to increase the proportion of women in the workforce, he said. 

“New jobs will be created as technology advances,” the minister said, adding that “what’s important in policy is how to support a worker move from a fading sector to an emerging one.”

READ: South Korean government urged to enact nationwide sickness programme

The South Korean government is currently looking at expanding its job insurance programme to 21 million people, covering over 40% of the population by 2025.

It aims to provide financial support through insurance for every worker in the country, regardless of whether they are full-time, freelance or contract workers. The government is also providing younger jobseekers with stipends to encourage them to keep searching for jobs.