| The government plans to draw up measures to encourage state-run or state-funded organizations to give priorities to job seekers with three or more years of job experiences at small- and medium-sized corporations over those with high English-language scores or education backgrounds, beginning next year at the earliest. The government has also decided to partially introduce a telemedicine system that allows doctors in urban areas to treat patients in remote places and ease some environmental regulations that hurdle business activities.
Deputy Prime Minister Hyun Oh-seok, who is also the minister of Strategy and Finance, unveiled his plans for the Korean economy during an interview Wednesday afternoon with the Dong-A Ilbo in his office in downtown Seoul.
"Many young people refuse to enter the job market with a view to getting a job at state-run organizations. If the government has the state organizations give hiring priority to job seekers with work experiences at small- and medium-sized enterprises over those with English test scores, the public organizations will be able to absorb younger labor force that remains idle while refusing to land a job at small businesses," Hyun said. Asked about concerns that small- and mid-sized businesses could lose their talented workers to public organizations, he noted, "We need to induce (younger job seekers) to join small- and mid-sized companies rather than not doing so at all."
Under the government`s current guidelines for state-run corporations` personnel recruitments, the companies can prefer job applicants with work experiences at small- and mid-sized businesses. However, the guidelines are only recommendations and thus are not effective. The finance ministry plans to study ways to make them more effective by reflecting state-run companies` hiring of such experienced workers when it assesses the state-run corporations` overall management performances.
The economic chief also pointed out that some environmental regulations designed to prevent river or air pollution are applied "excessively." He noted, "In some areas, (environmental regulations" requires industrial water to be higher in quality than drinking water. We need to approach such issues on a case-by-case basis to determine whether to ease some excessive regulations."
Regarding the proposed introduction of "profit-seeking hospitals," or medical institutions open to private investors, Hyun said that some success stories need to be made before expanding the application of the system step by step. "Before fully allowing profit-seeking hospitals, the government is studying ways to introduce telemedicine to remotes areas and islands or limit the use of telemedicine to returning patients.
The finance minister also said that the government`s 2014 budget proposal is "focused on reinvigorating the economy and creating jobs." Recently, the government leaned toward reducing the budget for building infrastructure, only to make an about-face toward increasing it as much as possible due to strong protests from the political circles.