First batch of migrant agricultural workers to arrive in Taiwan soon

2019/09/05 18:22:43 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
CNA file photo

CNA file photo

Taipei, Sept. 5 (CNA) Some 300 migrant workers will arrive in Taiwan over the next few weeks to take up agricultural jobs, as part of a government initiative to address a labor shortage in that sector, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said Thursday.

Among the first batch of migrant workers entering the country under the government initiative, 109 will be hired to work on dairy farms, a COA official said, adding that those workers will start arriving in late September once their applications have been approved by the Ministry of Labor (MOL).

Another 207 will start arriving at the beginning of October to take up work in various agricultural outreach organizations ahead of the harvest season, the official told CNA.

The efforts to employ migrant workers in the agricultural sector were initiated in May by the COA, shortly after the labor ministry revised its regulations to make such hiring possible.

Migrant workers will be hired on three-year contracts to fill some 400 vacancies in each of the two agricultural categories, according to the COA.

After the first three years, the contracts can be extended periodically for up to 12 years, the COA said.

Meanwhile, under an internship agreement signed between Taiwan and Indonesia last month, 54 new graduates from Indonesian agricultural schools will begin one-year-internships at 45 farms in Taiwan this month.

They will receive a monthly subsidy of US$600 and will have the option of extending their internship visas for another year, the COA said.

The internship and migrant agricultural workers' programs are part of the government's efforts to alleviate a shortage of agricultural labor in Taiwan, the COA official said.

According to COA statistics for 2018, about 10 percent of farms in Taiwan experience regular labor shortage, which escalates during harvest season, particularly on fruit and vegetable farms.

(By Yang Su-min and Joseph Yeh)
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