When the Overseas Development and Employment Promotion Council (ODEPC) organised a seminar for overseas job recruitment, it did not expect such an overwhelming response to farm job offers in South Korea.
With many Keralites having lost lucrative jobs in the Middle East due to the pandemic-induced slump, this offer of farm jobs on government-owned agricultural lands, appears to be too good to resist, even if it is on contract for a year.
There are only about 100 vacancies available right now, but a thousand more will be recruited in a second round later. There appears to be more demand for women.
The requirement for farm hands in various islands in South Korea’s Sinan and Muan counties has attracted about 500 applicants. Most are clearly attracted by the pay, since the work will be hard considering they will have to work on cabbage and onion fields, and that too in very cold temperatures for about five months in a year.
The employers are not looking for highly educated candidates, even though many who turned up to register were postgraduates, which shows how desperate people are for jobs! Those who have passed high school, have basic knowledge of English and are between 25 and 40 years of age, may apply. Accommodation will have to be arranged by the candidates themselves. Preference will be given to those who have some knowledge and experience of farming and agriculture.