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Taiwan encourages firms to retain migrant workers long-term

Taipei, Nov. 25 (CNA) The Ministry of Labor (MOL) has called on more local businesses to apply for a new program launched this year which can extend the 12-year contractual limitation of their migrant workers if they meet certain conditions.

In a Friday press release, the MOL encouraged more local businesses to help their migrant employees apply for the long-term retention of skilled foreign workers program, which was launched on April 30 this year.

Under the program, if a worker’s application is approved, the worker will be reclassified as an intermediate skilled worker in Taiwan’s workforce with no time limitations on their legal residential status in the nation beyond the worker’s original 12-year contract.

Eligible migrant workers include those with records of commendable performances at work, as well as foreign students who have acquired associate’s degrees or above from a local college or university.

Employers of these migrant workers may apply to reclassify their employees and hire or rehire them as intermediate skilled workers.

Industries where employers may submit their migrant employees to the program include manufacturing, construction, agriculture, fishing, and caregiving.

Chen Chang-pang (陳昌邦), director of the Cross-Border Workforce Affairs Center under the MOL’s Workforce Development Agency, said since the launch of the program, 1,047 out of 1,835 applicants have been reclassified as intermediate skilled workers and had their stay extended.

Chen went on to provide an example of a Changhua County employer in the metal processing business who had already applied to have the status of nine of his migrant employees reclassified so that they would not need to worry about any limits on the duration of their employment in Taiwan.

Chen said the employer was very enthusiastic about the program and had submitted applications as soon as it was launched at the end of April.

He added that a migrant worker from the same Changhua company reported being benefitted from the program by not having to worry about his residency duration in Taiwan alongside having better career prospects and a salary increase.

Chen said the MOL’s projected goal is to have 10,000 migrant workers reclassified by the end of 2023 and 80,000 by 2030.

Source : Focus Taiwan