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Taiwan launches service center to boost skilled migrant worker retention

12/06/2023 09:02 PM
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Labor Minister Hsu Ming-chun (center) attends a plaque unveiling ceremony for the Long-term Retention of Migrant Workers Service Center in Hsinchu County Wednesday. CNA photo Dec. 6, 2023
Labor Minister Hsu Ming-chun (center) attends a plaque unveiling ceremony for the Long-term Retention of Migrant Workers Service Center in Hsinchu County Wednesday. CNA photo Dec. 6, 2023

Taipei, Dec. 6 (CNA) Taiwan's Ministry of Labor (MOL) officially opened a service center dedicated to the retention of skilled migrant workers Wednesday, providing a one-stop service that enables the speedy processing of administrative paperwork for employers, employees and labor brokers.

The center in northern Taiwan's Hsinchu County -- which together with neighboring Taoyuan has the largest number of migrant workers -- will also provide in-person workplace consultations as well as one-on-one counter and telephone services, according to Labor Minister Hsu Ming-chun (許銘春).

For manufacturing employers who have hired a certain number of experienced migrant workers and wish to apply to extend their employment or upgrade their status, the center will assign one staff member to each employer to better track their progress, Hsu said.

The establishment of the Long-term Retention of Migrant Workers Service Center supports the policy of Taiwan's government to keep migrant workers employed in the manufacturing, construction, fisheries, care work and agricultural sectors where there is a shortage of labor, according to the MOL.

Labor Minister Hsu Ming-chun (second right) stands next to a board showing the number of skilled workers who obtained approval in the retention program in Hsinchu County Wednesday. CNA photo Dec. 6, 2023
Labor Minister Hsu Ming-chun (second right) stands next to a board showing the number of skilled workers who obtained approval in the retention program in Hsinchu County Wednesday. CNA photo Dec. 6, 2023

In April 2022, the ministry introduced a pathway to permanent residency in Taiwan for migrant workers who are eligible for reclassification as "intermediate skilled workers," if they have been employed in a designated field for six years or more and meet certain wage qualifications.

For migrant workers in the manufacturing, construction, agriculture, and fishing industries, the minimum wage for application eligibility is NT$33,000 (US$1,120) per month or NT$500,000 per year, the ministry said.

Institutional care workers are required to make an income of at least NT$29,000 per month, while live-in care workers must have minimum monthly pay of NT$24,000, according to the ministry.

Upon approval of their reclassification, which can be renewed every three years without limit, migrant workers are eligible to apply for permanent residency after having worked for five years at that level in accordance with the provisions of the Immigration Act, the MOL said.

Currently, as of the end of November the long-term retention program had continued the employment or upgraded the status of 21,351 migrant workers -- 8,447 in the manufacturing and similar sectors, and 12,894 in the care work sector -- which was higher than expected, Hsu said.

The ministry is seeking to upgrade a minimum of 20,000 intermediate skilled migrant workers each year, while current requirements remain the same, she added.

(By Wu Hsin-yun and Lee Hsin-Yin)

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CNA photo Dec. 6, 2023
CNA photo Dec. 6, 2023
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