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OpinionEditorial
Could We Escape Youth Unemployment?
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[0호] 승인 2004.09.09  
트위터 페이스북 네이버 구글
For the last few years, we have seen an undesirable phenomenon in universities. This is what we call a glut of state examinations. Every library is full of students, regardless of their major or sex, who sit at their desk next to high piles of thick books.

It is youth unemployment that is the reason of this phenomenon. According to the National Statistical Office, the youth unemployment rate of 6.6% was two times that of the total unemployment rate of 3.2%. This is far from the truth. The number of the unemployed reached 520,000 and the youth unemployment rate reached 10% in real terms. So, what are the reasons for the raise in youth unemployment?

First, economic structure of modern Korea was based on manufacturing. However, most factory systems were automated several years ago. Consequently, the rate of employment decreased. Moreover, industrial sectors were small, which would cover surplus human resources from manufacturing industrials.

Second, supply and demand are out of balance. Looking at the situation from the point of view of demand, enterprises hold back from hiring new hands because of a business slowdown and slump. On the other hand, domestic universities mostly stick to the old theories except for curriculums change in the area of supply. The result is that human resources needed in society and business are not supplied smoothly.

If this continues, youth unemployment may increase. This will obstruct the forming of high-grade human resources, and threaten economic growth. So, how do we rectify this situation?

One solution is counter-strategies in businesses, universities and government. Businesses and universities should build systems of human resource management as soon as possible. Universitiy education has been popular, however, its contents and quality has not met industry needs. So, industry and learning should be connected organically in one structure. Industry should participate in the system as a partner in development of human resources. Also, industry has to design curriculums for universities.

Accordingly, industry can propose curriculums to universities which will train students in desirable skills from when students enter school. This would enable students to show their ability as soon as they graduate. And the government should draw up plans from a national point of view and actively do benchmarking against other nations: The New Deal of England, the Trace of France, and the Jump of Germany.

The other plan is for individual youths who are jobless. This would involve career development programs, drawing up career paths before going to work. By setting up objectives and improving competences, you can change yourself into a professional. This method is called internship. Internship enables businesses to select excellent human resources by testing applicants?capability as well as enabling applicants to increase their opportunity for getting a work.

The youth workless experience changes by selecting a job through this process. So, they can choose a job which they truly want. As well, do not limit opportunities for employment to domestic workers only, and extend opportunities to foreign workers.

In the last two years, the number of workers employed in the IT industry in Japan was over 300. The demand continuously increases and categories of business are gradually diversified. Especially, the demand for professional human resources overflows to China and Japan. If you have skill in foreign languages, you have more chances of finding work.

The majority of OECD nations underwent youth unemployment in the process of modernization. Youth unemployment in England and France were very serious until the middle of 90s. That is, the youth unemployment rate was over two times the total unemployment rate.

Now they have overcome this somewhat, but not completely. It cannot be achieved in a short time. Universities, government, and individuals should plan and execute for the long term with a critical and strategic approach.
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