Discussions largely focused a number of issues in terms of the management and support of fisheries workers, as well as proposing solutions to improve the efficiency of their work.
Ta Thi Thanh Thuy, head of the Management Board of Vietnamese Laborers in the RoK, said there are currently 17 Vietnamese enterprises participating in a scheme to provide crew members to fishing boats near the RoK. The total number of E-10 visa workers working in the RoK currently stands at 8,602.
Furthermore, Vietnamese crew members are highly appreciated by Korean ship owners due to their skills and ability to go out to sea. Recent times has shown that, despite being heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the quota for accepting Vietnamese crew members has surged by 1,000 crew members annually in the period before 2018 to 1,500 annually at present.
However, businesses have stated that the seafarer labour market in the RoK is facing tough competition from seafarers from other countries. Indeed, many ship owners typically give priority to accepting crew members from other countries as a result of the limited sense of discipline among Vietnamese crew members.
Moreover, language limitations are also a major reason for disagreements occurring in the work and life of crew members.
Participants at the event also pointed out that fishery workers leaving their contracts to work illegally is a problem that must be addressed by relevant parties, with the main reason being attributed to the income gap between contract workers and illegal workers.
Kim Jae-man of the Korea Fisheries Association said that the organisation has made efforts aimed at protecting the interests of seafarers, regardless of complaints against domestic or foreign seafarers.
He went on to suggest that relevant Vietnamese agencies, as well as labour supply enterprises, strive to strengthen education for workers aimed at reducing the rate of fleeing workers, as well advising them not to become involved in criminal activities.
As a means of expanding the fishery labour market in a healthy and sustainable manner and taking advantage of the source of skilled workers to re-sign contracts, it is essential to boost co-ordination between businesses and relevant departments of both nations.