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Taiwan to allow foreign nationals to serve in social work sector: MOL

05/03/2024 12:22 AM
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Social workers visit a rough sleeper near Taipei Main Station. File photo courtesy of Taipei City Department of Social Affairs
Social workers visit a rough sleeper near Taipei Main Station. File photo courtesy of Taipei City Department of Social Affairs

Taipei, May 3 (CNA) Taiwan's Ministry of Labor (MOL) on Thursday said it is planning to open the social work sector to foreign nationals following the amendment of related regulations.

At a Thursday press conference held by the ministry's Workforce Development Agency, labor officials revealed that foreign nationals will be able to seek white-collar job opportunities in the social work sector after completing and passing Taiwan's national examinations to become certified.

However, foreign nationals will only be able to seek employment with public social welfare, labor, judicial and health organizations, or private registered groups.

The agency's officials said international students can currently major in social welfare at a higher education institution in Taiwan.

However, officials revealed that due to Taiwan's existing regulations, a number of such students are unable to seek employment opportunities in the field domestically even after obtaining national certification following their graduation, adding that the issue was brought to the MOL's attention by Taiwan's Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW).

Speaking with CNA, Su Chao-ju (蘇昭如), head of the the ministry's Social Assistance and Social Work Department, said on Thursday that the department received a letter from a foreign resident who was unable to seek employment in the social work sector in Taiwan even after passing the nation's certification examination.

After seeking input from the MOL and other domestic social work organizations and factoring in the impact on the employment of Taiwan nationals, the MOHW deemed it appropriate to recommend permitting foreign nationals to work in the sector, Su said.

The recommendation also comes after realizing the level of professionalism of prospective foreign social workers after passing the nation's exams, Su said, adding that such talent could contribute to social work work in Taiwan's diverse communities and expat groups.

Speaking to local press on Thursday, National Union of Licensed Social Workers chairperson Wu Yu-chin (吳玉琴) said that her union welcomes the inclusion of foreign nationals in the social worker sector.

(By Wu Hsin-yun, Shen Pei-yao and James Lo)

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