South Korea to Invest $900 Million to Train Young Workers

Country will train 100,000 workers for next-generation industries

Over the next five years, South Korea will invest $900 million to train 100,000 young people for next-generation industries, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance said on Sept. 11.

It said the project aims to ease youth unemployment and increase expertise in future growth engines such as "green" projects, IT, cultural content, medical technology and the knowledge-based service industry.

Starting with $118 million to be spent next year, the ministry will channel the funding to schools and research institutes with relevant training programs.

Young South Koreans are struggling to find jobs amid the sluggish economy. The overall jobless rate stood at 3.1% in August, unchanged from a year earlier. Youth unemployment, however, jumped 0.4 percentage point to 7.1%.

Job creation is one of the key campaign pledges of President Lee Myung-Bak, who took office in February. Last month he unveiled a "green growth" strategy to drive the economy in future decades, saying the renewable energy industry would create several times more jobs than existing industries.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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