South Korea’s changing job market conditions have seen the emergence of a new job-creation initiative in Seoul to answer the demand for manpower in public services; the need to help young people create their own jobs in the slow global economy; and the need for young people to master IT skills to increase employability.
To ensure its corporate social responsibility programmes respond to these changes, Microsoft Korea recently held a career fair called Bring IT to Youth to introduce young jobseekers to potential employers, as well as provide educational talks on essential skills. Organised in conjunction with nonprofit organisation Beautiful Foundation, the fair was attended by about 150 people.
Designed to provide a broad-based view of the job market, the event, held in Seoul, saw the participation of government agencies, nonprofit organisations and youth social ventures reflecting the tight multi-sectoral collaboration that has been adopted to address the current issues effectively.
One of the key highlights was the address by Yeong Sook Um, Assistant Manager, Employment Policy Division, Seoul Metropolitan Government, where a new job creation initiative was announced. The initiative will not only create 2,000 public sector jobs, but also provide career education programmes and other activities to help boost the employability of young jobseekers.
Another highlight was the presentation by Changing the World in 15 Minutes (a nonprofit that organises 15-minute talks by leaders from fields such as education and politics) and The Korean Interdisciplinary Arts Network (KOIAN) (an organisation that creates new media art) on the place of technology in the world.
The event was well-received by the participants. According to Dong Joon Min, “I’ve been able to gain a deeper understanding of programming. Now, I think I’ll be able to create a portfolio site on my own.”
In the upcoming months, Microsoft will be inviting young South Koreans with an interest to work in IT or who have a start-up, to the office for a tour of the facilities, introduce them to the concept of ‘smart work’ (using collaborative technologies for greater productivity), and provide them with mentorship by Microsoft Korea employees and executives.