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Moon Jae-in to meet with Samsung, LG chiefs to discuss youth employment

Dec. 26, 2021 - 14:30 By Shin Ji-hye
President Moon Jae-in and Samsung chief Lee Jae-yong shake hands ahead of Samsung Display's new investment and win-win cooperation agreement ceremony in October 2019. (Cheong Wa Dae)
President Moon Jae-in will meet with leaders of South Korean conglomerates, including Samsung chief Lee Jae-yong, to thank them for their efforts in participating in government-led job creation projects for young people and discuss implementation plans on Monday, Cheong Wa Dae confirmed Sunday.

The meeting will be attended by Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, Hyundai Motor Chairman Chung Euisun, SK Chairman Chey Tae-won, LG Chairman Koo Kwang-mo, Posco Chairman Choi Jung-woo and KT Chairman Ku Hyeon-Mo. It is the first time President Moon is meeting Samsung leader Lee since he was released on parole in August.

“This meeting is designed to express gratitude to companies that participated in the ‘Youth Hope ON’ project to create jobs for youths, and to share the social meaning of the project and future implementation plans,” said Shin Hye-hyun, deputy spokesperson for Cheong Wa Dae, in a written statement.

The “Youth Hope ON” project was established by 18 government ministries and was confirmed by the Youth Policy Coordination Committee presided over by the prime minister in August this year.

It is a company-led, public-private project in which companies directly educate and hire the necessary talents, while the government supports the training costs.

The six conglomerates -- KT, Samsung, LG, SK, Posco and Hyundai Motor -- have promised to create 179,000 jobs over the next three years and provide educational and training opportunities for young people.

“Companies that participated in the project have greatly expanded their initial recruitment goals. And in the case of education and training, they are starting as soon as they are ready,” Shin said.

KT, which was the first to participate in the project, has already begun education and training in December. Samsung and Posco are speeding up their implementation by starting in January next year.

“The Moon Jae-in government was launched by advocating jobs as the number one national task. In particular, jobs for youths are still the heaviest task of the government, and we are making special efforts with the top priority of policy,” Shin said. “In August, President Moon showed special interest in the project and asked for an active promotion.”

Cheong Wa Dae said it expects the meeting to serve as an opportunity for such public-private cooperation to pave the way forward in solving youth unemployment, a problem that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a report released by the Korea Economic Research Institute in November, the “economic pain” felt by young people (between 15-29) was the worst ever amid worsening economic conditions and job difficulties caused by the prolonged COVID-19.

The “youth economic pain index” stood at 27.2, the highest since the 2015 tally. The pain index of other age groups also hit the highest level in the first half of this year, followed by those in their 60s (18.8), those in their 50s (14.0), those in their 30s (13.6), and those in their 40s (11.5).