Labour officials of Vietnam and the Republic of Korea (RoK) plan to continue the Employment Permit System (EPS) programme, which sends Vietnamese workers to RoK.

The plan was announced after a fruitful meeting between the Vietnam Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) and the RoK Ministry of Employment and Labour (MOEL) earlier this month.

"There are better understandings between the ministries in regards to the programme. We hope to send 10,000 workers to RoK by the end of the year," said MOLISA Minister Pham Thi Hai Chuyen.

A Memorandum of Understanding on the EPS programme signed by the two ministries last December will expire next month. The ministries have scheduled a meeting in December at which they will review conditions for continuing the EPS programme and discuss measures to prevent illegal Vietnamese workers from overstaying their visas.

The ministries aim to work together to reduce the number of illegal Vietnamese workers in RoK.

Vietnamese workers who overstay their visas will face a fine of 4,700 USD. Workers who go to RoK will have to put down this amount as a security deposit.

The MOLISA has set up a representative office in RoK to motivate workers to return at the end of their contracts.

The Government also ordered the MOLISA to cooperate with local authorities to talk with workers and their families about their duty to return after their visas expire.

During the meeting, MOEL promised to help by issuing warnings and fines to Korean companies found employing illegal Vietnamese workers. MOEL will also support Vietnamese workers with vocational training programmes and language lessons in Korean before they return to their home country, helping Vietnamese workers secure jobs in the approximately 3,200 RoK factories and companies in Vietnam.

In addition, Vietnamese workers will be able to obtain work visas multiple times if their skills are needed by RoK companies and their visa records are clean.

Vietnamese workers in RoK send home approximately 700 million USD, one-third of the total amount sent home every year by Vietnamese workers around the world, according to the Department of Overseas Labour.-VNA