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2010 Jeju Job Fair attendance up 80%Over 600 applicants and 78 companies look to build new opportunities together
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승인 2010.10.01  10:50:37
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▲ The atmosphere was tense, but energized, as Jeju youth sought to break into the job market and begin building their careers. Photo by Jean K. Min


On Sept. 17, simultaneous with the opening of the 2nd Jeju Global Business Convention, the 2010 Jeju Job Fair at the International Convention Center Jeju, in Seogwipo, was crowded with approximately 3,000 attendees and 78 represented companies with an initial objective of admitting a total of 409 interviewees for potential employment.

While the majority of job seekers were from colleges and universities, a noticeable number of vocational high school seniors, including some from Jungmun Commercial High School, were transported to the event by shuttle buses.

“Due to Jeju’s [geographic] conditions, it seems difficult to have opportunities like this. Especially with companies located outside of Jeju, it is not easy for people to even attend interviews. I think it is great that events like this are providing more employment opportunities for the students and job-seekers of Jeju," said Hwang Na Ri, a fourth year pre-law student at the Jeju National University.

Indeed, this was the first time the job fair has invited representatives from enterprises outside the province. With the growing willingness of Jeju’s youth to relocate to the mainland for work, the job fair’s successful effort of placing 32 out-of-province enterprises at the fair seemed right on the money.

Hyun Yoon Hee, a clothing and textile major at the Jeju National University, had attended the Job Fair with the intention of seeking employment opportunities with Black Yak, an outdoor clothing national brand. Black Yak, whose interview booth was crowded with interviewees right from the start of the event, had informed its interviewees on the job fair Web site that successful applicants will be guaranteed employment in Seoul.

“I would prefer to work in Seoul. I may not know enough, but my belief is that Seoul will broaden my vision in many aspects, enlighten me, and provide me with greater opportunities. So I prefer to work in Seoul over Jeju,” Hyun said.

Despite the event’s success, however, some expressed concern about the general employment situation of Jeju’s young people.

“Though I understand that the situation is similar nationwide, young job seekers are looking for prominent and comfortable employment opportunities whereas smaller enterprises on Jeju are desperate to attract young workers,” said Yang Hwang Il, a deputy general manager at the Jeju branch of Human Resource Development Service of Korea, who was involved in the organizing of the event.

“Personally, I hope that the disparity will be overcome by the young people being more modest with their standards; they should instill the spirit to challenge themselves in humbler enterprises to gradually build up their dreams.”
This tendency seems to be affecting employment situations in one of the more prominent industries in Jeju, the service industry.

Kang Chul Yoon, an assistant manager of the operation support team from the Lotte Hotel Jeju, gladly accepted an invitation for the event with the aim of employing Jeju natives in order to prevent a common issue with workers from other provinces. He said non-natives are “more likely to quit or transfer to other branches due to loneliness or failure to adjust.” Nonetheless, he seemed frustrated when asked about the reason for the shortage of manpower to accommodate the increasing demand from Chinese tourists.

“Simply put, it’s not that there aren’t enough jobs out there. It’s that people aren’t willing to work in this field of industry. Frankly, working in hotel service industries can be quite stressful. And most of the college graduates seem to be looking for white collar jobs where they can work at an office, clad in a dress shirt. From my perspective, there are plenty of jobs — it’s just that people are too concentrated in seeking certain fields of work,” Kang said.

That said, 2010 Jeju Job Fair performed as an effective agent to settle differences between applicants and industries.

Reflecting a generally positive evaluation from both the companies and the applicants, Moon Ji Eon, a Chinese literature major at Jeju National University, was happy “to have expanded [her] horizons” and “to have discovered some of the fields of work that had been unfamiliar” to her before this experience. Meanwhile, Assistant Manager Kang from the Lotte Hotel Jeju commented that the event was serving as a “great window to communicate with various job-seekers,” since he and his company has been looking for a solution for the shortage of Chinese-speaking workers.

The 2010 Jeju Job Fair reported a total of 674 applicants who interviewed with companies, with 38 earning guaranteed employment and 316 passing the initial evaluation to further pursue potential opportunities. This is an 80 percent increase compared to the job fair event of last year.



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