Gyeonggi Province holds population policy forum to seek low birth rate solutions among young adults

Createdd 2021-07-09 Hit 74

Contents

○ Gyeonggi Province held an open forum on population policy on July 9, 2021
– Sought policies and social initiatives to ensure economic and cultural stability for young adults, the practical policy subjects in tackling the low birth rate
– Participants discussed the current status of work-life balance among young Koreans, and suggested future directions for youth employment policies

On the afternoon of July 9, Gyeonggi Province held the 2021 Gyeonggi Province Population Policy Forum on the subject of “Seeking solutions to the low birth rate among young adults” at the Gyeonggi Provincial Human Resource Development Center.

Kim Hyeong-ju, a senior researcher at the National Youth Policy Institute, and Kim Yu-bin, Director of the Trend Analysis Office at the Korea Labor Institute, participated in the forum as presenters. Professor Kim Jeong-ho from the Department of Economics at Ajou University led the table while Oh Jae-ho, a research fellow at the Gyeonggi Research Institute, Baek Jun-bong, Director of the Job Search Center at the Gyeonggi Job Foundation, and Oh Ji-hye, a member of the Gyeonggido Assembly, discussed Gyeonggi Province’s youth policies and ways to lower employment barriers for young adults.

Senior researcher Kim discussed work and life realities for young adults, presenting the results of a related social and economic status survey, and proposed solutions such as the establishment of an open market for online occupational training content, formulating a national youth health checkup system, designating and operating startup universities, and increasing the housing supply for young single-person households.

“The negative impact of COVID-19 on employment is concentrated on young people. This is not unrelated to the type and status of occupations in which they engage,” Director Kim asserted, presenting the fact that it takes approximately 10 months on average for a young person to find their first job, and that young people only stay with their first job for about 1 year and 6 months on average. Director Kim emphasized the need to instill healthy employment ethics throughout society, and also mentioned solutions such as strengthening incentives for employers to hire young adults, expanding youth-friendly job training programs, improving work culture, and incorporating regular training in the Labor Standards Act.

In the following discussion, a range of suggestions regarding Gyeonggi Province’s youth policies and development directions for employment policies were presented.

Research fellow Oh emphasized, “Gyeonggi Province’s youth policies, rather than focusing on certain targets or age groups, need to consist of those tailored for different areas of specialty, such as policies for young people who pursue higher education, enter the job market, launch startups, undertake artistic careers, and so on.” He continued, “The right thing would be to focus on policies that create the basic conditions for young people to gain independence that are premised on their will and ability to be self-sufficient.”

Addressing ways in which to lower employment barriers for young adults, Director Baek suggested policies that provide direct support such as providing job interview allowances, expanding youth internship programs that offer opportunities to gain job experience and eliminate career gaps, and offering more training programs related to new industries that are popular among young people such as artificial intelligence and software development.

Gyeonggido Assembly Member Oh said, “The problems for young adults are none other than labor market gaps, employment and housing instability, childcare insecurity, parental depression, and continuity of work.” She called for childcare counseling services, psychological counseling, childcare shared by the family, networking between caregivers, and policies that support work-family balance.

Choi Won-yong, Director for Planning and Coordination at the Gyeonggi Provincial Government, said, “Gyeonggi Province, instead of merely viewing young people as labor assets, will respect them as human beings who have the right to pursue happiness while also strengthening communication with cities, counties and local communities to establish policies that help them lead active lives.”