Sri Lanka youth seeking Korean jobs already working: think tank

Aug 15, 2011 (LBO) – A snap survey by a Colombo based think tank among thousands of young Sri Lankans queuing up to find jobs in Korea have revealed that a majority of them were already employed and looking for better salaries. The Institute of Policy Studies survey (link) said 63.4 percent of those polled at a centre in Colombo were already employed but were looking for better paying jobs.

“Although we may be quick to assume that most of these Korean job aspirants were unemployed youth, the survey revealed that in fact the majority were already employed in Sri Lanka,” an IPS research team said.

The survey found that 38 percent cited ‘low wages’ or ‘low income’ as the main reason for seeking a foreign job while 9 percent cited ‘limited job prospects.’

“This would indicate that these youth were suffering from underemployment rather than unemployment, and the relative higher wages in countries like Korea was the key attraction for out-migration, rather than pure unemployment in Sri Lanka,” the researchers said.

The youth were queuing up at a government centre in Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo where applications given to c