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Companies plan to reduce hiring high school graduates
DECEMBER 23, 2013 00:59  
A high school in Seoul, which was authorized as a moister high school after signing a contract with a large company in early 2011, got a disappointing phone call from the company in October. The company had agreed to employ a certain number of graduates of the high school under the contract. However, it later said it cannot guarantee the promised number of slots for the school뭩 graduates because it has no room for recruitment and has to create part-time jobs and change contract workers to regular workers.

The school said, 밅ompanies did an about-face over hiring high school graduates after the change of the administration. We want to complain about it or ask a question but it is impossible because most of the employees who were in charge of signing the contract are no longer there.

The fad of hiring high school graduates,which started at the end of 2011, seems to disappear in two years. State-owned companies, private companies, and financial institutions, which advertised for high school graduates under the former Lee Myung-bak administration, has reduced hiring high school graduates and are projected to reduce the number next year.

Recently, 295 state-run companies reported to the government that they would select 1,933 high school graduates in 2014, down from 2,512 in 2013 and 2,508 in 2012. It is a change from what the former administration said in November last year. It promised that it would gradually increase the share of high school graduates in state-run companies from 20 percent to 40 percent in 2016.

Banks and securities firms that created abuzz for hiring a large number of high school graduates have cut the number of new employees who are high school graduates in a year. Banks employed 491 high school graduates in 2013, down from 715 in 2012, and securities firms hired 88 in 2013, down from 162 last year. A source from a financial institution said, 밯e expect the number to further decrease due to the introduction of part-time jobs.

Companies in the private sector are not much different. Companiesare unlikely to reduce the number of the manufacturing positions for high school graduates as they have recruited even before the government encouraged them to do. They are likely to reduce the number of service-related positions and office jobs for which they had hired more high school graduates since 2011 to comply with the government뭩 guidelines.

The Dong-A Ilbo asked HR teams of four major conglomerates Samsung, Hyundai Motor, SK, and LG and found that they are expected to cut the number of jobs for high school graduates or maintain this year뭩 level. They have doubled the number annually since 2011. A source said, 밊ew companies can increase new hires substantially because of the economic downturn. Except for 95 percent of those who work at a production line, the positions for high school graduates will significantly decrease. The Hanwha Group that runned a 밾igh school graduate internship program for high school sophomores, will decrease the number of interns this year. The program guarantees employment after graduation.

Many vocational high schools and meister high schools are puzzled at the drastic change in two years. Kim Hye-seon, a teacher in charge of recruitment department at Gyeonggi Commercial High School, said, 밎raduates are already feeling the impact of unemployment of high school graduates this year. Top students who would have employed easily failed to get a job last year. Mirim Girls Information Science High School, which achieved 100 percent employment last year, had only a 90 percent success rate for its gradates this year.

Students and their parents are concerned about the recent change. Students, who decided to come to meister high schools or vocational high schools trusting the government뭩 words that it would help them get a job without graduating from a college or a university, claim that they were deceived.

밒뭢 in top 10 percent in academic records, and have certificates such as a certified fund investment advisor, computerized accounting level 2 and a computerized accounting specialist. But I was all declined by four employers including state-run companies and securities firms this year, Jang Seok-won, a 19-year-old senior and student president of Seoul Finance High School, said. 밫eachers told us that the employment of high school graduates peaked last year and the number would decrease down the road. I뭢 confused.

A president of the parent-teacher organization for sophomores at a vocational high school said, 밃s the government repeatedly promised that it would have companies hire many vocational high school graduates, I sent my child to a vocational school. Now it has changed its words and is driving me crazy.

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